For many the success of a day's end is measured by the recline of the chair, the clarity of the big screen or the fullness of the stomach after dinner but for me, in this last month, I have found satisfaction is standing back up with a freshly driven nail beneath me. The dawn brings a new opportunity to race till dusk with hammer, nail gun and chop saw at full speed, pausing only for the essential victuals of the noon hour (which often came at 2:00pm or later). With the finest of crews at my side, a pile of lumber willing to be chopped, nailed and conformed to match the plans we have made much progress and accomplished a great feat. The boys may not like the beginning of the day, but at the end I have seen the gleam of approval in their eyes as well. So many offered so much when there was nothing to do, but when the day came to proceed it just was family left standing in the row of volunteers who stepped forward. And for that I am truly grateful, not only for the willing ones, but also for the confirmation that those who previously spoke only did so for their own good and the selfish need to hear their own words echo in the air. It makes life much clearer to understand who is not and who is!
Speaking of who is .... 20 days or so have produced the shell of what may some day be our house. God willing (and He has been so far) we will complete the exterior, roof what is now sheeted and place the lower roof trusses soon. The crew of young men, my sons, have proven themselves capable even if usually in need of a "small" amount of motivation. I occasionally catch them attempting to take over for me, in a very considerate manner to protect me from danger or the demands of a task they also could do. I am very appreciative of their presence, their help and for the most part, their attitude towards this monumental undertaking. Wouldn't trade them for anything. Much lies ahead and though we remain ready for the impending snow as a result of our collective work, it will nicer to see the metal roofing at its intended location doing its intended duty.
Speaking of duty....It seems at times that the future of the Stirling City Church remains very much up in the air and that is absolutely true. It remains in God's hands how much longer I continue, how much longer we can pay the bills and how much longer we can effectively impact this community. I still continue in my role, not in duty or obligation, but rather with great thankfulness that God has allowed me to do so. Every day and every challenge just reinforce the reality of the cost of allowing Christ to lead. No longer can it be what I want, when I want it and how I want it, but rather it all must remain in His plan, His will and His time. The separation of the goats who have moved on to their greener pastures of painted grass and calm water facades may or may not be complete, but the confidence that God is still in control will always remain the guiding force in all we do.