Three Taverns Church

On The Road, Day 2: Pendleton, OR to Burley, ID

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Right now it’s 6am in Burley, ID (The girl at the Best Western check-in counter told me the city is named well: “It gets cold here really quickly…Burrrr-ley…get it?”). I need to wake up my family soon so we can eat, pack up, and hit the road. We’re going to see a whole lot of…well, not vey much today. Mostly rolling grasslands and barren mountains based on what I can see with Google Earth.

We are not moving as fast as I want and I realize this move is an exercise in surrender. I have to let go of my “need for speed”. I have to look at this trip as a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, not a mad dash from Seattle to Orlando. I have to remember to smile at my kids. This is harder than it sounds, at least for me. There’s something wrong with me…I am grumpier than usual and I get frustrated with my kids too easily. I look at them and feel like they are slowing us down. I post a comment on Facebook about how free I feel, with nowhere to be and no schedule to keep, but then get behind the wheel and force us down the road.

We’re on the road. I can let go now. Leaving Seattle was a lot like leaving the Earth’s atmosphere: Lot’s of gravity holding us back and lots of resistance to our leaving. But we are free now, floating through the vast interior space of America. It’s time to let go.

I had an early breakfast yesterday at the Red Lion in Pendleton while the rest of the family slept, and ended up talking to an older gentleman named Jerry. Jerry is a small business owner and electrical engineer who travels the country doing maintenance for various businesses. He and I got to talking about my family’s call to plant churches, and he asked for my information to keep in touch. “We sponsor a number of missionaries around the world,” he said, “and maybe you and I can work something out.”

Small business owners and  folks involved in ministry probably have a name for this kind of event, but I just call it encouragement from God. A random stranger in a random hotel restaurant gets excited about my random ministry and suggests that he might be willing to help support us.

Of course, he could’ve also just been trying to be polite.

But even if he was just trying to be polite, it was so encouraging to have someone listen to my “crazy” idea for church planting and actually suggest support for it! (I just realized I may not have shared our church planting idea before: Church in bars.)

Here are my goals for the long day of driving ahead of us: More surrender; more smiling; stop trying to get somewhere and just enjoy the trip.

Maybe these should be your goals for today as well.

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