Mondays are hard for Pastors. In some ways they are a great rest from the pressures of the weekend, in other ways it takes half a day to feel like you don't have a "Sunday hangover".
Though I did not preach yesterday, I awoke this morning feeling rough as usual. I was so encouraged by Dr. Stephen Jones bringing our minds to the Lord yesterday, but I went to sleep bearing a heavy burden from a ministry situation.
I got ready for "the Monday" like most "Mondays" with just enough time to get the kids to school, but without time to make coffee. I told Amy not to make it which is code for "I'm stopping at Wawa to get us cappuccino".
I dropped the children off and pulled into Wawa. Though I know it will disappoint you, I will tell you because of my stupor that I intentionally parked our 23' Suburban in a space marked "Cars Only, No Trucks". I reasoned that they didn't really mean this - foolish sign.
As I drug myself toward the back of the store, I picked up two 20 ounce cups as I heard a faint voice directed toward me in the crowd of caffeine seekers. "Blah, Blah, Blah...still pastoring there....Blah, Blah...." I squinted around wondering if I were awake or dreaming within this circle of work boots. I looked up to a face with "chillin' sunglasses" that I strained to recognize.
"I'm sorry, excuse me?" I mumbled. "I worked construction in front of your church...do you still pastor there?" It was then that I realized that God was meeting me. I don't mean physically, I mean He had intentionally put someone to minister to right in front of me on the day I least expected it.
This man's name is Van. When road crews were working on the turning lane in front of LBC in the heat of summer, the staff guys and I put out a table each day with a cooler filled with ice, bottled water, and Gatorade. We had also placed church literature and tracts on the table. Van was one of the crew chiefs and had remembered the kindness "in Jesus' name".
"Yes, I still Pastor at Lighthouse." "What time are your services? I want to come...my parents live right around the corner." Van is a professed believer who is attending a church, but was impacted by God's love in a simple act of kindness.
I tell you this story for the main reason to show you that I had not intended to "reach out" much this morning because I was tired, dragging, and self-centered. As I left Van, I had the distinct feeling that the Lord gives us opportunities all the time if we will take them. I took my coffee to the cashier with renewed focus of living in God's will today..."I'm doing good today Pat, I want to give you this pamphlet, I'm a local pastor and I would love for you to visit our church. The pamphlet has some verses that tell you how you can be right with your Creator through Jesus."
As I exited the store, my attitude and outlook for the day had changed. "I shouldn't have parked here" I thought.