Sunday, February 26, 2012


I recently read that if you want to get something you’ve never had, you need to do something you’ve never done.

I don’t always do that deliberately, but sometimes I get dragged into it. And then I wonder, “What is God trying to teach me through this experience?” Well, maybe I don’t wonder that all the time. Indeed, at times I react with less than a Spirit-filled reaction. Thank the Lord for grace and mercy and lessons learned, even if I get taken out of the comfortable and predictable and I have no idea why.

I’m in San Diego waiting for the start of CPC12, the premiere conference dedicated to children’s ministries. Because I have no idea what the future holds (long-time blog readers know the story), I’ve jokingly referred to this as my “Farewell Tour.” Being as this is my seventh time at CPC, I know the routine of the conference, and I know my personal routine. I’m ready, I’m set, I’m pumped.

As often happens, I had a flight delay on my way. No problem. That, in itself, is part of the routine. I expect that. I plan a “travel day” just for that. That way, when I arrive at the hotel that evening, (hot, tired, sweaty, and hungry), I can just give my plastic to the front desk clerk and I’m soon in my room.

For the first time in seven years, my card was declined! I won’t bore you with all the details of the problem, but I spent a fairly good amount of time on the phone with the credit card company trying to get this fixed. The front desk clerk at the Town and Country was incredibly helpful and patient and understanding of the problems and figured out a way to keep me in my room until I could fix things (I always like to applaud great customer service!). Still working on details, but I thought at the time, “This is not part of the plan! What a way to start my ‘Farewell Tour!’”

As I went to bed, I knew I could at least look forward to the breakfast buffet in the morning. It has always been one of the highlights of my trip. I awoke with a headache, but even that did not deter me from doing what I have always done on my first morning in San Diego: get the buffet! As the hostess sat me at my table, I said in my cool, casual voice, “I’ll just have the breakfast buffet.” The hostess said, “I’m sorry, they did not put the buffet out this morning.” My cool, casual voice caught in my throat like a cat with its tail stepped on. No breakfast buffet? But…but….I’m Tim. This is my “Farewell Tour.” Oh, the humanity! For the record, what I did order was very good, but for the first time, I was unable to get the first morning buffet. Sad face.

Okay, nothing here is worthy of being called “dramatic life challenges,” but my routine has been disrupted! While I pride myself in thinking outside the proverbial box, my friends and family will tell you I will usually step out of that box when I’m good and ready. I don’t mind being unpredictable, as long as I can plan for it. But ever so often, it feels like God comes up behind me, places His loving hand on my shoulders….and shoves! And then I’m out of the box, outside the lines, out of my comfort zone, etc. I’m having to do what I’ve never done before, so that…hey, wait a minute! So that maybe I can have what I’ve never had. Hmmmmm.

I knew my “Farewell Tour” would be different this year, as I’m looking at things as one who is between ministries. Michael Chanley, the director of INCM, has said that there are new innovations this year in the conference. So the routine, which has already been different, will be even more so. And my “Farewell Tour” may just be the thing to force me to do what I’ve never done in order to get what I’ve never had.

Bring it!

No comments:

Post a Comment