Of Heraclitus and Such Things
Before Socrates there was Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher. One of his observations of life has greatly influenced me. Paraphrased:"You cannot put your foot in the water twice at the same place."
The point is that history cannot be repeated. We cannot do the same thing twice. The water is always moving, if nothing more than the shifting waters because of previous troubling.
I am a pastor. It is Monday. The sun is shining. The weather is pleasantly cool. Workmen are outside pouring concrete. Masons are laying block. Other workers are being diligent about pressing construction to prepare for the steel to be erected.
Building programs are no fun for a pastor. Budgets, meetings, inspections, funding, vicissitudes of weather, ad infinitum.
I asked myself why are we doing this building program. I asked why did I lead these people into a significant expansion project that tasks us. I asked myself why did we as a congregation elect to have dust, mud and inconveniences of parking.
First consideration was that in the interest of rest, sleep and lower anxiety there would have been no building program.
Second consideration was the heart of "Why?" The prime mover is the second consideration.
The "Why?" is that we have experienced the benefits of a wonderful location and excellent facilities. There is no day of the week that is quiet with doors locked. These facilities are used by diverse groups for ministry.
Several schools benefit from our gymnasium. A number of wonderful organizations hold their board meetings at Covenant. Even as I write the Samaritan's Christmas Shoebox project is setting up in our gym to hopefully receive more than 8,000 boxes for children of the world. Usages by congregants and small groups of Covenant are generous.
Rooted in our ambitions is the desire to serve. We want to serve well. We want our facilities to be community friendly. We want others to see, not only our hearts, but also see that our hands are open and generous.
I grew up in a family that construction was a way of life. It is in my blood. I love seeing buildings rise out of the ground.
Yes, if you will patiently listen, there are higher thoughts that compel this building program. This is not a Pastor Bare project. The congregation longed to see this day. The elders have wisely guided the process. The pastoral staff is intensely engaged to insure that we do not forget ministry while there are sounds of trucks and machines with men working intensely to anticipate winter.
Our real passion is souls. There is a harvest field at our doors. The Lord has granted to us the privilege of being strong to serve. We long to share the gospel, lead people to Jesus and make disciples.
We are convinced that in a few months when the construction has paused, when we cut a ribbon and walk into new facilities, and when we lift our hands in praise and worship that our efforts will have won many people to Jesus.
One day the buildings will stay. We will leave to be with Jesus. Until then we labor with joy.
Pray with me that the Lord will bless each of us to give generously to the building fund! Pray for safety of our workers. Pray that others may be encouraged to walk with us as we follow Jesus.
The waters are shifting with good things to happen, heaven's blessings of new adventures. Much love,
Pastor Bare "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters (Colossians 3:23).