I was able to reconnect to one of my best friends in high school, Keith Anderson. We have kept up with each other over the years, mostly through our moms. In fact, he is a teacher at our old high school. Talk about eery feelings, walking through those old hall ways took me back a lifetime. Keith and I could only talk short time, but after all these years, we were able to look at each other and "truly" hear the other, remember our past hopes and dreams, and connect them to what God is doing in each of us today. Having someone who can "truly" hear you and visa versa, is rare in this world today, but this was to be the norm for me on this trip.
Earlier, on my way to NC, I got a call from Sandy Bennett, who was instrumental in guiding me in my first part-time (soon to turn full-time) ministry appointment. It was during this call that we reconnected and reminded each other what great work that God had begun in each of us, God was sure to finish. We encouraged each other to remain focused on doing what God had told us to do and not to deviate from that until God said different... no mater what.
Finally, the last important person I reconnected with during this trip was with my best friend (other than my wife Jodi) in college, Gina Guilliams (previously Gina Miller Keller). We got caught up after I tracked her down after stopping for gas on the way back to Georgia (got low on fuel, pulled over for gas, she came to my mine, and BOOM, through the technology of Blackberry, Facebook, and my old electronic address book I was able to contact her in the time it took to fill up with gas) . We also shared about our lives since we had last spoken (many years ago), and God's hand allowed us to hear, encourage, and celebrate what God had done and was doing in each of our lives, with the promise to each other that we would not let distance nor time keep us from saying connected in the future.
On this trip I met some others who were very formative in my life... my old sunday school teacher, Midgie Dial, and our good family friends, Tommy & Doris Davidson, who all shared fond memories with me of our past, and reminded me that God's hand of guidance on my life has been there for many years.
I tell you all this because in each conversation with these people from various times in my life, I heard confirmation of God's speaking upon my life. I looked into peoples faces, listened to their words, felt the emotion in their voices, as one after the other who I met on this journey, reminded me of 1) whose I am 2) and whom I serve.
It's easy to get off track in life today, caught up in the "stuff" of the world and then loose focus on what we should be doing, losing focus on God's Purpose for our life. Sometimes a trip back home and reconnecting with loved ones who we haven't seen in a while is just the thing God is preparing for us to help us GET BACK ON TRACK...
In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:4 , Jesus Says,
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
I came home mourning....I return back to my wife and children in Georgia comforted, confirmed, and committed to God's Purpose for my life... Let's do life together!