"Don't do it," my wife urged. "Your plate is too overloaded and you won't be able to do a good job by spreading yourself so thin."
'Honey, I agree with you about the full plate. The letter asked for one meeting with the group and prayers. That's what I am going to do. I will listen to the group and go with what is in my heart. We are where we are today because we have trusted God in all of our actions.'
I was silent for most of the meeting, just listening to the ideas from my pastor and the leaders. Then it hit me. They asked us to share our testimony. I went first. You can learn more by reading my earlier posts.
Eva volunteered next. "It was the retreat," she said. "They promised me I would receive a special gift at the end of the weekend. But first, I needed to give something up. I needed to forgive somebody. I told the leaders that there was no one to forgive, I had a clean slate."
"You must pray and search for two people you need to forgive."
"How do you know this?"
"If you want the gift, you must do this."
Eva called her brother that night and her sister-in-law answered.
"It's Eva, and I need to ask your forgiveness."
At first, her motives were questioned. The two forgave each other and the phone was turned over to her brother. All was smoothed over and the past was buried.
Eva couldn't wait to receive her gift. She expected it Sunday morning but was told the gifts wouldn't arrive until the end of the retreat. At the service, Eva was told she would be receiving the Holy Spirit. She talked about the euphoria she felt as she asked God, "Fill me up all the way, I desire you to be in my heart."
Eva's life was forever changed. She added, "one day I heard God ask me to join the choir, and I can't sing. Six years later, I'm still in the choir, singing...joyfully."
'That's all right,' I said. 'He asked me to write and I'm not a writer. He is teaching me to write and sends me great writing mentors along the way.'
Other members shared their anecdotes. Each had a different story of conversion. Our pastor had chosen us to help light the fire in the other members of the congregation, especially the busy ones, the ones that only visit on Christmas and Easter.
As I woke up this morning, my wife asked, "how was the meeting last night?"
'God has a plan, honey. I am going to follow the plan. The members of this group are regular people just like you and me. I said yes. It's going to be difficult but I trust that God will lead us. One more piece of His puzzle was revealed last night and I am ready to serve.'