The Wild Goose Chase August 13, 2017

Welcome to “The Wild Goose Chase!” The Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit “The Wild Goose” because it was untamed and smarter than any other bird.

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

God invites us to lift one another up. Sometimes that is very difficult because of old hurts or just not feeling comfortable. And at other times, it just feels so natural, as it should.

I think one of the most powerful lessons I have ever had of one person helping another occurred while I was in seminary and serving at Woodward, New Horizon UMC. At that time, Phillips Theological Seminary was still located in Enid, and so I would drive over three times per week for classes and do my best to get the work of the church and care of the congregation done when I got back home. Then I would add in family time and homework. Do you know that the average seminary student must read over 1500 pages per week, each semester from text books? Add to that doing a little research and writing papers; and then add a crisis, and … well, it can become a little daunting.

I remember that we had a family member pass away in Tulsa. And the funeral was on a Friday. That meant, driving over on Thursday, missing class and spending the weekend, then getting home, leading worship, and having to be in class with a test in one class looming over me; not to mention a bunch of reading to be done.

I read pretty well, and I read fairly fast, so that was no big deal. But trying to find time to study for that test, well, that was looking impossible. I had pretty much reconciled myself to take whatever grade I could make work.

I had begun to get a little frustrated and worried about getting all of the things I needed to do done … sermon for Sunday, worship bulletin, reading for classes and researching enough to study up for that test; that is when I was reminded that, the Body of Christ lifts one another up, particularly in times of distress and need.

My phone rang, and I answered to find Robert Bull on the other end. Robert was a classmate, an Australian National and a Disciple of Christ – Christian Church Pastor in one of the small towns between Woodward and Enid. He had heard of my family member’s passing.

I can still hear him in that beautiful Aussie accent: “Hey there, Steve-o, I heard about your family member’s passing. I want to offer you something. I have all the study notes and some research on our upcoming test. I suspect you have not had time to get to that. Stop by here on your way to Tulsa, and I will give you a copy to study from.”

I took those notes, and did what studying I could, and got a “B” on the exam. Thank you Brother Robert for being part of my threefold cord that day!

The scriptures says in Ecclesiastes 4Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

May we always support, help and lift one another up. Please remember, God loves you and so do I, and all you can do about it is love back.

Still In One Peace,

Stephen

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