A Great Journey

A few of us are leaving after church tomorrow for New York for a week long mission trip with Samaritan’s Purse.  They have been working in Long Island since Hurricane Sandy hit.  I found out that we get to be part of a home dedication on Friday – that’s where all the SP staff and volunteers turn the home over (or back over) to the homeowner.  This will be the 4th mission trip with SP for Diane and me, and we’ve wanted to be a part of a home dedication since we started.  We’ve only ever been with the homeowner as they eagerly await their home to be ready.  When people have a home destroyed and then rebuilt or repaired, it’s a journey from grief to exuberance while riding a roller coaster of emotion in between.  One thing’s for sure, the homeowner knows how it’s going to end.  SP is going to turn their home over to them, better than before and hand them a book that all the volunteers have written in as they’ve worked on it.

Most of the time we don’t know how the journey is going to end.  The Frankfort football team saw their journey end last night with a tough game on Wheeling Island.  It’s not that they played a bad game, but to be honest – Bridgeport was just too much, just as they had been for every other AA team in the state this year.  Stephan Buser’s ended as he stood with his surgically repaired (and still healing) ankle lifted in his cast, in the running back spot so he could be on the field in the championship game, as Gage Shaffer took a knee on the last play of the game.

The football team reminded me this year to appreciate the journey.  The journey has ups and downs.  I was there in Oak Glen to see one of the lowest points of the season when Stefan Buser suffered his horrific injury.  I was there to see the great highs of the double overtime against RCB and the goal line stand against Keyser in OT.  And what a great part of the journey when the Mineral Bowl trophy showed up in church and was the subject of the children’s message.  I was blessed to be able to be on the field with this wonderful team as they held their runner up trophy and bowed in prayer.  As I prayed with them, I thanked God for allowing them to experience the journey that was this football season.  And I thanked Him that because of them, there were kids in the stands who could not wait to be Frankfort Falcons.

I pray that today’s blog serves as a reminder to you to savor this journey of life.  We never know how or when it will end, but what’s important is that we appreciate the journey and never give up on it, always believing that the difficult times are temporary.

I want to end with this quote from missionary Jim Elliot, who was killed in the mid 1950’s in the mission field in Ecuador:  “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”

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