Another Year, Another Hour
As I sit here writing this, it’s 5:40AM, and I’m sitting at an IHOP in Rockwall Texas. I had my laptop with me as I was taking it to work later this morning, and I turned it on, and discovered that the IHOP here offers free wirless internet. So you know I had to jump all over that. :)
I’m here after spending some time at church for the annual Easter vigil. I did this at my church last year as well. My wife and I started attending our church here in Garland in November of 2004, and this is the second Easter since then. It’s by far not the only times I’ve done this. I’ve participated in my church’s annual Easter vigil for as long as I can remember.
My “hour” was from 4AM to 5AM. So after downing a bunch of coffee in my truck before it was my time, I went in. My church really does a great job at making different rooms on the campus look beautiful for various reasons. This was no different. The room is made up to look like the Garden of Gasthemene (sp?) – the idea being will you honor Jesus’ request to spend an hour with him? Sure, that’s no problem. Given all the blessings I have in this life, it’s a very small price to pay. I always pick times like 3AM and 4AM, as they’re not convienient. THat’s a strong belief I have, that the time I pick to spend with Jesus is not “easy time” for me.
So I went in, I prayed, I sat, I read my Bible that I had brought with me. I wished I had done that last year, but didn’t, so I made sure I had one with me this time. As usual, it was very moving. Not that I really needed affirmation of this, but my choice to participate, and participate specifically HERE was shown to me by the others in the room with me. You the reader woudln’t know most of them, but three of them are significant. One is a fellow within the last year who was saved by Jesus after a life of drugs and I found out when leaving by looking at the schedule that he was going to be there the whole night! Now that is a committment. One of the other folks was one of the church elders, but the most important one was the Rector Emeritus for our church. Having him in there with me sharing his soul and his prayers and time with me told me I was in the right place.
Last year I felt God spoke his love to me while in prayer directly. This year, I feel that he showed me his love through the presence of Fr Ralph. I was scheduled to be there, he was not. I’m sure folks who don’t believe in God might see this as nothing, but I see it differently. God loves me, and I’m not ashamed to say it. If you’re reading this and don’t believe or love God, know he loves you too.
God bless Fr Ralph, God bless my church, God bless my wife and daughter, and God bless the folks who invented the computer systems that allow me to bring this message to you.