Friday, April 8, 2011

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

Have you ever found yourself caught up in the mindset that everything has to be done a certain way in order to be done 'right'? Have you ever come unglued when the details didn't work out the way you wanted them to? I have. I'm not a perfectionist, (at least I don't think I am) but I like things done a certain way and I feel there is a certain way things should be done. For example, and you may call me old fashioned when I say this, but I like a pastor to preach in a suit. I don't mind if he takes off his jacket or loosens his tie on warm summer days, but I think a pastor should look like the professional he is. (Bear that in mind, it has revelance).

I also believe that when you go on a job interview you should dress your best and have a fresh hair cut and polished shoes. It shows respect to the potential employer. I like the perhaps out of date phrase: put your best foot forward. I think that when you leave the house in the morning you should have a smile on your face and look your best. But I digress. Let me get on with my story.

For a period of 15 months we were without a church to pastor. My husband was the assistant pastor in Lockeport, Nova Scotia, but that was not his calling and he felt like a fish out of water. We were living with my parents in a house that was intented for maybe four people, and there were seven of us. Alannah had a cot set up in the closet of our bedroom and the boys spent the winter months in bunkbeds in the tiniest room and the summer months in the woodshed sleeping on cots. It wasn't an ideal situation but we were thankful for it and blessed to have a roof over our heads.

One day our district office called and asked Brad if he would preach the call at a small church in Garnett Settlement, New Brunswick. We were so excited! A chance to have our own church again! A chance to have our own home, well a parsonage, again! The district superintendant, Doug Moore, told us to take our children and make it a mini family vacation. The district would be putting us up in a victorian bed and breakfast near the church. You can probably imagine our excitement!

We eagerly packed and loaded the van and headed out to New Brunswick, seven and a half hours away. We were chattering along, hoping and praying that the Lord would open the door of this church for us, and wondering what the parsonage looked like and what the area was like and having a great time. Everyone's excitement was pretty high. At about the half way mark in our journey, it hit me..... we hadn't packed Brad's suit! How could he preach the call without a suit? A pastor just doesn't show up to preach a call without a suit on! I couldn't believe it! How could we have forgotten the most important piece of clothing?

I could have had a melt down, for that matter my husband could have too since it was my job to get everyone's things together, but neither of us did. My husband said that if it was God's will for him to pastor that church, then it didn't matter what he was wearing. He was willing to show up in his jeans! Now come on, I'm adaptable but not that adaptable! We quickly drove to the nearest Walmart and bought black dress pants, a white shirt, a tie and belt and a pair of dress shoes. Oh, and we bought black thread and a  package of sewing needles too. While he drove I hemmed pants and we told each other that we would laugh about this adventure someday. (Actually we did a lot of laughing then too).

When my husband preached the next day, he told the small congregation why he didn't appear before them in a suit. They all had a good chuckle at that and one man graciously said that if my husband had of dressed in a suit the rest of the men would have felt out of place: not one of them owned a suit! Maybe it was a mistake on our part to forget the suit or just maybe God orchestrated it so that my husband would appear more approachable to the people he would be preaching to.

God blessed us with a year at that church and it was one of the best years we have ever had in ministry. The people were such a joy that it was hard to leave them when the Lord called us to Cape Sable Island, where we are now.

We would have had a stressful, miserable mini vacation as a family if we had of sweated the small stuff. There was nothing that could be done about something that was already done, so why have a melt down? It was better to laugh about it and enjoy our time together. Worry never benefits anyone and in fact the Lord tells us not to worry because it accomplishes nothing.

"Therefore I tell you do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body what you will wear....can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Matthew 6:25,27

I encourage you to roll with the punches. Don't sweat the small stuff! Life is an adventure that will throw you all kinds of curve balls. Learn to laugh at the little things that don't go exactly the way you've planned them to. Just maybe God had a hand in the circumstance.

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