If you thought Michael Jordan's retirement from basketball was short-lived, or Brett Farve's first retirement from football was "lightning quick" . . . Nah! That's like breaking the sound barrier compared to how long I was out of circulation.
Two days ago I reported that I was officially retiring from my role as D.P. (click here to read the blog). God had other plans. It was as if he said, "Not so fast, preacher boy. I've still got some work for you."
Here's what happened . . .
Tuesday I carved out several hours to get ahead on my message preparation. I was working from my house. I turned off my email, put my phone on silent and got busy. Fortunately, I left my phone on vibrate and did not turn it off entirely. At 8:58 a.m. I received a call from Diane, who works with me at SRC. It went something like this:
Diane: Are you coming?
Me: Coming where?
Diane: Coming to lead in prayer for the school's Christmas chapel?
Sure enough, the chapel was scheduled to start at 8:50. When I was a no-show, the school staff put out an APB, then tinkered with the order of service to stall. I dashed out of my study, into my closet for a sports coat, out of the house, and over to the chapel service. Jimmie Johnson's pit crew could not have orchestrated such quick a change.
I stepped onto the stage, greeted the families and the students, and then opened in prayer -- focusing on finding God's peace in this season of rush and hurry (if only they knew).
Looking back on that moment I know someone else could have prayed, but I also know at that time -- in front of those folks -- I was right where I was supposed to be.
As I mentioned in my blog on Tuesday, "Runners Pray!" but so do pastors. Paul reminds me of this when he prays this for the Ephesians:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Epesians 3:14-21 ESV
God calls all of his people to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Most times that is in private, but sometimes it is in public. And in those public moments, whether runner or D.P, we honor God and bless people when we pray over them and for them. The other day it was my turn to to do that, today it might be yours.
Yes, this preacher still prays. How about you?