Thursday, August 1, 2013

OK, Davy, How Are You Really Doing?

OK, Davy, How are you really doing?

Please indulge me a little personal time to answer that question.

I sure appreciate all of the genuine inquiries as to how we are coping with our forced exile in North Dakota. Several folks have taxt (past tense for text), called and some have emailed.

If you do not know what I am talking about you can catch up HERE?

They have read the blog, heard me say all the right things and are glad to know we are in a safe place and that we doing OK.

But friends want to know, Davy, how are you really doing? Do you have diesel? Do you have money for food? How big of a hole is this going to put you in?

First of all, thank you very much. I appreciate your concern. It is very nice to be loved. I have had friends and family offer to send us money right away. In fact, at least two friends have called without even knowing about the cancellation and have immediately offered to help if we needed it.

You do not know how much your offers mean to me even though I have not accepted them. God bless you for it. God knows there have been times when it was different.

There have been literally dozens of times that we have traveled a long distance to preach revival and arrived without enough money in our pockets or in the bank to buy Happy Meals for the three of us. We made it just fine in those times and I trust we will make it just fine this time by God’s grace.

We planned this trip as a mission endeavor from the beginning. We had no specific money given for this trip but we have saved for it. We wanted to help the Martin’s with some of their expenses and we wanted to have an offering for the local church as well. We wanted to have enough fuel money to get us from Washington, Illinois to North Dakota and then down to Wichita, Kansas. Even though we were not fully funded in all of these things, we were close enough that we will survive, barring any big surprises.

It overwhelms me that so many have asked and offered to help. I know that many were not offering help out of excess funds but you were willing to do without in order to bail us out. God bless you for that. As I have told several, “I am sure that you or somebody you know can use it worse than we can right now. I will call you when I need it.” (Although they know I probably will not call if that day ever comes.)

The real problem is what to do with the time and how do I process all of this emotionally? I am not allergic to vacations and time off as some in ministry seem to be. I cherish time with my family away from the pulpit and the pull of the formal ministry. I need it. I must have it. Thank God for friends and mentors that have taught me that I must have rest to survive and thrive long term.

However, I must prepare for it. Give me a stretch of five days off and 3-6 months to get ready for it and those five days will be wonderful. I will be in a campground, or cabin or motel; it does not really matter. I will sleep, eat, read, write, pray, visit with my girls and do as little of anything else that I can get by with legally.

I will not plan breakfast, lunch or supper. I will not make plans to meet anybody or talk to anybody on the phone. I want no appointments. I will eat lunch when the mood strikes. I will eat whatever sounds good at the moment. I will make a call or answer a call and talk 2 minutes or an hour, when I feel like it. I will send calls to voicemail if I would rather read, sleep or eat.

I will hold hands and walk with Kelly Jo. We will go to Waffle House at midnight or eat fried chicken for breakfast. We will live on no schedule at all until the very last moment of the very last day of our time away. Kelly Jo and Odie will notice me slipping back into my normal routine about 36 hours before we need to hit the road but I will resist it with everything in me.

As I said, those are scheduled days off. I have prepared for those days. I am in the right state mentally and physically in those times. I have built those days off into the system months or even years ahead of time. Right now we are planning 5 days off in October and anticipating small breaks next year and the year after.

But to have those days thrust on me when I am prepared to preach, itching to minister, ready to set up the tent or carry in the sound system, is a completely different story. It throws me for a loop when I am prepared to do what I do in the ministry and then to have 5 idle days cast upon me. Especially when it happened in North Dakota.

In other unexpected times off, I am going some where else to preach. I am taking advantage of an invitation in the area that I had previously turned down because of lack of time. I am preaching another revival or preaching there Sunday, here Tuesday and over there on Wednesday.

But I know NOBODY in North Dakota. I know NOBODY between here and Omaha over 600 miles away. There was no place to sing, no place to preach, no place to attend service and hear preaching beyond the blessing of Sunday morning service in Ft. Totten.

Can you say “Forced Rest?” I quickly came to the conclusion that is what was being spoken to me. Use this time, Davy, to rest. Yes, I have looked for and found opportunities this week to witness. Yes, I have taken time to listen to people in this campground and in this community as they pour their heart out to a stranger. Yes, I have had some real special times of prayer and study.

But I have shifted gears and tried to enjoy the rest. I know it seems easy but it really has not been easy for me. I love to preach, I love to sing and I love to evangelize. But I thought things over. I am a list person. Here is my list…

1. How often will I ever be parked in a beautiful state park in North Dakota on a lake with 50 amp electric for $20-25 per night? I am setting inside typing while looking at a lake. Come on, Davy, use your noggin for something besides a hat rack.

2. How often will I have a gorgeous lake as my chapel each morning for several days in a row and have time to enjoy God’s presence with no pressure to preach that night? I could get used to this one even during revival.

3. How often will I spend the last several days of July with brilliant sunshine but temps in the upper 60s during the day and upper 40s at night? Can you believe that we have not had the AC on in days?

4. How often will I have my family with me, with no obligations or appointments, with no mechanical breakdowns and no rush to leave… in North Dakota? I mean it took me 46 years to get here the first time.

5. How often will I get the opportunity to turn a conversation about Walleye, Northern Pike, Perch, lake levels, water temperature and boats into a conversation about eternal life and Christ? That has been fun.

How often will all of these things converge into one totally “unplanned” week? The answer; probably never again in my whole life?

But if all of these things do happen at one time again, I hope I will be quicker to see the hand of God and sit back and enjoy the show!

Today we travel.

God bless you all.


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1 comment:

  1. Well said!!! Glad you have enjoyed this time of rest!! Love you guys!!!


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