Well, here I am, two days after the conference, finally able to post. Sunday was communion and a fabulous message on how when we truly believe we are reconciled to God and there is absolutely nothing more we have to do, when we are convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are holy, blameless, righteous and the work has all been done, only then are we truly able to have a right relationship with others. Being wholly at peace with everything that happens in my life, knowing it comes from the hand of a God who loves me, who is for me, who will never leave me, no matter what I do, or don’t do, knowing there is nothing for me to do really but relax and take advantage of what He’s provided, then I can turn to others with a heart of restoration…
Once you get rid of the unrealistic expectations and the guilt and the demands you put upon yourself and just revel in His love and provision, once you stop judging yourself for never measuring up, then you can stop judging others. Then you will stop, because there is no need. If you have no expectations, for yourself or for others (and why would you, seeing as we all, in the flesh, have sick heads and deceitful hearts. We’re idiots really, especially when we think we’re wise and with it. We’re doofuses, pretty much completely at the mercy of forces outside ourselves which can descend at any moment and we can do nothing about it. Yet, we deceive ourselves into thinking we have control. That we can protect ourselves, do the right thing, avoid the problem, the disaster, the pain.
When in all likelihood the problem, disaster or pain is precisely the portion God has for us today.
Anyway, after the final message we went across town to the after conference party where I talked my throat sore. Great conversations. When my mother asked me today if we had a dinner at the conference, I suddenly realized how different these are from what she must think. From the normal conference someone might go to. These are more like family reunions. With great teaching. And conversations all revolving around that teaching, and the things that are going on in our lives which are always amazingly similar. Activities develop as the Lord orchestrates. And orchestrate He does. Right down to the specific chair He wants someone to sit in at times.
Mary Hugill and I were looking forward to getting together for a long, face to face visit, but it seemed that every day we were pulled away and brought elsewhere. Finally on that last Sunday, we went into the dining room at the house where the party was held and sat down at the table. Before we could even begin the conversation, people began to join us. Somehow chairs were inserted between us, and soon both of us were engaged in conversation, just not with each other. That’s okay. We knew we were having the conversations God wanted us to have. And then, after all that, after numerous other conversations, I suddenly got hot and had to go outside. As I came around the corner I wanted right into Mary and the next thing you know, we were going outside for a walk. Down to the small lake we went to sit on a stone bench and watch the canvasbacks glide about the water where we talked until the sun went down and we got cold enough we had to go back in.
It was a VERY good conference. But already I can’t wait for the next one, which will be in New England this summer.