I am trying to sleep but the slumber leaves because of all the connections at the Alabama District Council where the Council celebrated one hundred years. Everything was nice and full of great remembrances and bench marks. I have been a part of the Assemblies of God and the Alabama District since 1972. I joined a little church in north Alabama and struggled about the decision. But the last 43 years have been very fruitful and I have nothing but good memories of the pastor and Church I started at, the churches I was a pastor, the people, the leaders and all the great opportunities.
But tonight my mind is racing to make sense of all those who I saw and those I did not see this week. I saw so many of my great leaders, aged and bodies weakened and wondered about how they are doing. I listened to some who told me of personal struggles of finances, depression and other battles life just keeps throwing at people. I got to eat a hamburger with friends and listen to their jovial comments and sincere concerns. I listened to pastors who now are bi-vocational yet seem so encouraged. Someone even slipped and paid for my lunch without letting us know about their names, just the church they attend. I listened to people who are close to changes and could feel the concern in their eyes and words. I played some golf with buddies and laughed a few hours away. I experienced those who were glad to see me and others who wondered who the old guy was? I looked across the room and saw people who are facing debilitating health issues yet they worshiped with all that was in them.
I guess what makes me mellow in all this is the ones who were not there. We lost several who the Lord called them home. Their impact on my life in so many different ways is hard to put into words. There were others who were not there maybe because of finances or health. Some were not there because of discouragement I am sure. Those who I did not get to see mean so much to the Alabama family. The family is changing and many of us are finding our places are becoming different. That is okay as long as we can continue to be a part of the family God has made us to be.