Randy, you have the singular honor and distinction of having posted the 1,oooth comment on my blog. As the number approached 1,000 I tried to think up a creative prize to award this person. I did not.Instead, we took a walk together yesterday afternoon for the better part of an hour. During the walk I informed him of this distinction. He was immediately underwhelmed. How appropriate that Randy receive this award. He was the pastor that many of you, even those of you that are bashful about posting, could look to for remarkable insights and wisdom from one who is no novice regarding difficulties.
Well, Randy and I are together for 9 days, along with 16 other pastors at Gordon-Conwell Seminary (near Boston MA) for something called the Spurgeon Sabbatical. Thus far it has exceeded my wildest expectations. We are sleeping in individual rooms…spartan rooms that were originally constructed by the Roman Catholic Church (the Carmelites) as a sort of pre-monastery weed-out place.
Each morning for us begins with breakfast together, followed by 30 minutes or so of worship…songs of praise, hymns, and prayer.
Then, for the rest of the morning (2-1/2 hours) we are engaged in high level study of Romans led by Dr. Scott Hafeman, a professor here at the seminary.
At noon we all eat lunch together around a configuration of tables such where we are all facing one another. Then, at each lunch and supper one of the men will summarize the past year, followed by prayer for that pastor. In the evenings we meet for an hour or so for theological discussion, followed by a time of worship and prayer.
There is a man here who was also on the waiting list to get in. After getting a call just three weeks ago he arranged things quickly so he could make it. The only thing is, is that I had been assured that I was first on the waiting list. But as I said in a posting a few days ago if they had called me three weeks ago I would have had to decline the offer. And if I had declined the offer then I wouldn’t be here right now, for someone else would have taken the spot. As it turned out yet another pastor pulled out at the last moment, thus clearing the way for me to come. So I’m glad that I wasn’t really first on the waiting list. Rather, I was second, just as it was meant to be.
And Randy, how appropriate that yours was the 1000th comment! Hey, I’ll buy your ice cream tomorrow night!