Along the Way... Part 1

“Along the way . . .”

That’s what she said.  Actually, she said, “Along the way, I began to love . . . .”  We’re just beginning to get to know one another.  Actually, I am just beginning to get acquainted with her.  I am reading her book, “The Ministry of Ordinary Places.”  Her name is Shannan Martin.  I feel pretty ordinary, myself, and feel like I live in a pretty ordinary place, so the title grabbed my attention.  Someone else I was reading quoted her and I’m a sucker for a good quote – so I got her book . . . good decision.

Surprising things happen along an ordinary way in ordinary time in ordinary places with ordinary people.  I think I am safe to say that it is extraordinary what can happen along an ordinary way!  This season for the disciples – this post-resurrection-pre-ascension-pre-Pentecost season – was, at the first anything but ordinary, but the passing of time, and the waiting I think turned the days rather grey and grim.  Waiting for the promise is a dangerous season.  

Dangerous in this way:  Waiting for something, longing for something, praying for something I find myself apt to not pay enough attention to each day entrusted to me.  We generally measure our lives in terms of significant moments – marriage, children, the special Christmas, a loss, a windfall, a glorious vacation, the trip of a lifetime – but in doing so we actually fail to take note of the “along the way” seasons of our lives.  Life is lived mainly here . . . “along the way . . . .”  Before marriage, at some point “along the way” someone fell in love with someone else!  Before that glorious vacation someone saved and planned and dreamed “along the way.”

She said, “along the way I began to love.”  Three brothers were fighting outside her house.  She knew the family, was more acquainted with the mother, and stepped in to stop the scuffle, invited the boys in, gave them a Granola bar and a good lecture.  Done.  They would be more careful and treat each other better.  One more deed checked of the “to do” list.  And then it happened.  She began to “fall in love” with these three boys.  I don’t yet know the final outcome, but she fell in love with these boys.

As I sit here this morning, my mind wondered back to the times when Patty and I felt we needed to “step up” for a particular situation – Done.  “Good Deed” box checked – and then, well then, we “began to love.”  “Along the way . . . “ God brought a Bill, Bob, Pam, Alphonso, Nick, Paul, Carol, Lamont, Curtis, Ann, Pam, Ryan, Brad, Beth – among others - and so on and so on into our lives and “. . . we began to love.”  This love has brought us disappointment and delight.  Good times and bad times.  Inconvenient interruptions to our lives and moments of great joy!

As I think about the disciples, in this season of waiting, I want to tell you more about some of our “along the way” stories and the people who have taught us about love and loving, laughing and crying, celebrating and grieving.  It’s part of the “. . . along the way, I began to love . . .” stories of life, of our lives.  It’s the best and the worst of the times, this “along the way” season.

Once upon a time there was a man travelling to Jericho and “along the way” he saw a stranger, “stripped . . . beaten . . . half dead . . .” and he . . . . (Luke 10:30-37)  well, I guess you could say, he “. . . began to love “ and . . . .”

Along the way . . .

Pastor J K

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