Over the past month, I have done a ton of traveling. I am learning why I would never be a good salesperson. I would get way too homesick. Each of my journeys brought new and exciting challenges to my life. From Portland, Oregon, to Austin, Texas, I learned of God’s great love for me in ways that I could never have experienced without taking the journey.
My trip to Portland was incredible because my oldest son was with me. We laughed and had a good time, in spite of General Conference. I felt blessed to get to know him a little better as we talked and then sang to our hearts’ content. He was the gift that was given to me twenty years ago. How great and wonderful it was to take a few moments and remember the joy of his presence in my life. For that, I am truly grateful.
While I was in Portland, I spent a couple of sacred moments with a friend of mine that has boldly embraced his life’s journey. I realized how great of a friend he truly is, and his importance in my life. We have known each other for over 25 years. He is the kind of friend that, even though I hadn’t seen him for a very long time, within 5 minutes of conversation it was as if we had never been apart. I am blessed to have his courageous friendship.
I also had the opportunity, while in Portland, to develop friendships with colleagues that I am just beginning to get to know. We laughed and talked about the possible directions that the United Methodist Church may go. We shared meals and conversations over the meals that we promised to hold in confidence, forming new holy spaces with new found friends. For these times, again, I am blessed.
And through it all, there were the friends from Austin. I had the opportunity to see a few of my colleagues in the Doctorate of Ministry program at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. I raised a glass with one of those great friends that have come into my life and has made a lasting imprint. I will speak more about my amazing Austin friends in a later post, but the fact I experienced their presence in such a far-away place as Portland, only confirms how vast and influential they are in my life.
So, as I unpack my clothes and process the sacred memories that I experienced while traveling, I hope to share the importance of my collected stories throughout my journeys. The one word that sums up my feelings regarding my travels is that I am a very blessed man. Praise be to God for all of the people who reminded me that I am loved beyond anything I could ever imagine!