Entry level Rio Grande spirituality
A few formalities first: my name is Patrick Mead and I am the pulpit minister for the 1300+ member Rochester Church of Christ in Rochester Hills, Michigan (about thirty five miles north of downtown Detroit, in case you were wondering). I've been married just over 25 years to Kami, a wonderful woman and a top interior designer, and we have two children... who aren't children anymore! Kara is married to Joshua Graves, a wonderful young man who is about to finish his Masters of Divinity at Lipscomb. Our son, Duncan, is 15 years old and six foot three. No, he didn't get his height from me.
I can't think of any good reason to read meandering comments that might spill from my fingertips onto the keyboard. I have no special qualifications and rarely receive direct revelations or stunning insights. I am a man on the same journey you're on. I open my eyes in the morning and think, "Oh well, still on this side of the dirt. Guess I have to do this one more day..."
You see, I can't wait for heaven. With all the blessings God has given me (and if He gave me more I don't know where I would put them!) I still long for the day when all this is over and I get to go home. I am more impressed with Him each day and, to be frank, less impressed with myself. If I ever doubted that I needed a Savior I do so no longer. At best, my spirituality is like the Rio Grande -- a mile wide and an inch deep. At a distance I might be impressive (I said "might." No giggling in the back row), but the closer you get the more you see that I am plagued by everything that plagues you. Everything that tempts you tempts me. I am living proof that God can take the worst among us and make something useful out of them.
So... I find myself preaching for a wonderful group of people in Michigan (where we have eight months of horrid weather... and then winter comes!), with a lovely wife and two incredible children and I can't help but wonder how this happened. I mean, I know me! I can't do this! I have no degrees in Bible or theology, no publications in religion, a voice that sounds like Mickey Mouse on helium, and a personality far better suited for a life as a lighthouse keeper than a minister.
It must be God. So when the morning comes and I roll out of bed, groan a bit on contact with the floor (at 48 I can just try to get out of bed and fail to nail the dismount) and go at the new day God has given me. It may not be graceful or pretty, but I'll give it what I've got. When the final tally of the day -- or my life -- is taken I know I will be all right because God is a God of grace. He's proved it with me.
And the title of this page? I think it's important to remember that we are on the road. We need to pull the tent pegs and keep moving towards God. Something in our nature makes us settle in and tie ourselves down. But you'll never get anywhere if you're standing still.