Yesterday was an interesting day. I’d been having some car issues for about two weeks. In the beginning my brake light came on, so we checked the fluid and it was low. Added fluid, light went off, all was great. A week later, brake light came on again. I called my friend and told him the problem, and we scheduled a time to take it to a shop yesterday to see if there might be a leak in a break line. We met at 8:15 at the shop and started off a great Saturday.
Because there was a wait time, my friend…let’s call him Bob…decided that we should drive down to the Starbucks up the road to grab some coffee while we waited. While we were there, the shop called and told us to come back over there, so we jumped in the car to head back and…the car that we had been driving was dead.
Now, the car didn’t actually belong to…Bob. It belonged to our other friend…let’s call him Larry. He picked up the phone and Bob started off the conversation with the words that every friend wants to hear: “Hey! Remember how you left your car at my place last night?” While Larry came over with another car, I walked over to the car parts store to get price estimates on the parts needed to fix my car. When I returned, we swapped to Larry’s other car and headed back to get mine while Larry fixed his first car.
It turns out that my car was worse than I expected and I was advised strongly not to drive it. Therefore, I drove it home and basically couldn’t drive it anywhere else until I got it fixed. My friend…let’s call her Natalie…offered to let me borrow her car until my friend Bob could fix mine. Even though I had to call in to my Sunday job, it turned out that I was able to go to church this morning instead. My friend Bob and his wife came and picked me up and we headed that way. Some other friends gave me a ride back. What an incredible thing to experience. I have never been so thankful for car trouble in my life. I wouldn’t have traded this blessing not-so-in disguise for the world.
This morning we talked about something that was very fitting to my situation, and it was something that I needed to be reminded of at this point in my journey: community. All of the aforementioned people with their pseudo names are a part of our Sunday School class, and I knew that I could call on them to help me if I was ever in trouble. It turns out that this was the point when I really needed them, and they came through with flying colors. I realized this morning how blessed I am to be a part of a community that lives out the things that we talk about. We live life together. We share each other’s burdens and we celebrate together. I can’t get past the feeling that this is a taste of what Jesus had in mind for the church.
It may seem like such a little thing, but it really meant the world to me. What means even more to me is to know that my friends have my back not just in practical matters such as my car or rides to and from church, but also in life. Some friends of ours are struggling with a decision of whether or not to move somewhere to start a new phase in their ministry. We are covering them in prayer. I am facing some personal things here in the coming days that are very difficult and exciting. In many ways that I cannot share at this point, it has been difficult, but how amazing it is to have a group of people that share your passion and believe in your dreams with you. All of us want what is best for everyone else in our group, even if it means that we will be moving far away from the group or taking a different direction. We are all serving Christ together in relationship with Him and each other. It’s such a beautiful thing.
As we talked in church this morning about living in worship and going out into the world in mission, we were each reminded in personal ways of our callings. I was challenged to continue down the path I am headed and to not be afraid, even though I may not have all the support I feel that I need. I was reminded this morning how blessed I am to have this group of friends that has walked with me and stood by me through the process. I have everything I truly need. Now is where the rubber meets the road and I must choose to be courageous.
This isn’t the most eloquent of blog posts that I have had, but I wanted to thank everyone in my Sunday School class for their support through this small situation and the bigger one as well. Your prayers and encouragement mean more than you know. You truly have shown me what it means to be the Body of Christ outside the walls of a building we occasionally call church. You have shown me what friendship is all about. Moving out to Nashville without knowing anyone was a scary thing, but you took so much of the pressure off as you offered yourselves to me in friendship and any other thing I might need. Just knowing that someone was there gave me so much peace and confidence. God brought you all into my life at just the right time, and I thank you for including me in the group and allowing God to use you in so many ways in my life and the lives of so many others. It is encouraging to know that the first century Church is not an extinct concept. I have seen it lived out in each of you.
What a wonderful thing it has been to know you. As I read this over, it sounds like I’m leaving or something. That is not my intended voice here. I simply wanted to take an opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation for everything you have done and who you are. You are a blessing to me.