The looming potential purchase of the two derelict buildings behind the Church was one of the scariest prospects in my life. It called me to destiny. I was afraid that I would be exposed as a fake and a failure.
My career in evaluating local buildings made me the closest person that we had to a prophet on predicting the implications of going ahead with the purchase. I knew that I did not have all the answers, but somehow I thought that I should.
I knew that Fairfield County contractors would eat the Church alive with their costs and expanded scopes of work. Alternatively it seemed that it would take a full-time manager to keep control of, and pragmatism present in, the renovation process. If I volunteered for that position I would be responsible for all the schedule delays and cost overruns while my own neglected business suffered.
Enter The Spirit
In a Church Council meeting on whether to buy the buildings or not, I listened in shock as I heard myself passionately declaring that purchase and development of these buildings would provide the necessary space it a pivotal time in the Church’s growth and that it was our destiny to reach very deep to give to future generations as past generations had done for us.
At the following month’s meeting, as we became committed to buying the buildings, I once again listened in shock as I heard myself volunteering to help lead the building renovation effort.
Never go back
Years go I had heard that virtually no one who tries tithing (donating 10% of income to the Church or other charity) ever goes back to not tithing. This is because if one reaches out to God then God responds bountifully. Well. It turns out that this works with time and talent donations, too. I started devoting about 600 hours per year on these projects without any negative repercussions to other activities in my life. In fact, the positive effects on personal relationships and my relationship with God were profound.
Pieces of the Puzzle
I learned to trust the Holy Spirit to lead. I learned to be attentive to that leadership. I didn’t need to have all the answers. I learned that God gives different people different pieces of the puzzle as a way to call us into community. If we work together and worship together, then we can discover the way where paths are straight and the burden is light. I learned to seek first the Kingdom of God and all the rest will fall into place.