Reformed Grits

“Slow and steady wins the race” or “How did we get here?” part tres
May 4, 2008, 3:58 pm
Filed under: Our Call

In an unselfish quest to satisfy your questionable curiosity, here’s the next installment of SSWTR/HDWGH.  As if that’s an abbreviation. It all starts here. 

After the service was over, we were much more relaxed and eager to meet more people in the church.  There was a big variety of families in such a small church… and we were beginning to see a number of other young couples.  One such couple came up right after the service and introduced themselves as "Caroline and Stephen."  I was amazed that she and I were about the same age.  (Of course you must know she’s older than me.  By OVER a year.)  I was barely 21 at the time and virtually none of my friends were married so to find another young married couple was just– thrilling!  We stayed and talked until most everyone had left.  And it was funny because we just fell in naturally, like, "So where are we going for lunch?"  The four of us had lunch that day… and have been close friends since. 

You know, it’s funny how it’s important to have friends in a church.  You just really can’t be invested in what’s going on in a church if there are no relationships there.  And as time went on, we built plenty.  We went to young couple’s Bible studies.  Granted, Mr. Grits and I and Caroline were by far the youngest  but we were all in the same "phase" of life as the other young couples so it fit.  And a funny thing happened.  All of us young couples started getting pregnant with our first babies.  I think there were probably 8-10 couples by this point.  It was a small community and it was great.  We were being challenged at church by the teaching, out of church by the sharp fellowship, and we grew. 

And our church grew.  And our family grew.  And our faith and understanding of the Scriptures grew.  We joined that church that challenged us to "be as the Berean Christian" and "search the Scriptures."  And we did.  And we began to understand things like covenant theology and "predestination."  The men met together to sharpen each other, on their own time, not even for "scheduled" studies.  Our families met together and worshiped together.  It was an unparalleled time in our lives.   We were there every time the doors opened, drinking deeply of the teaching and the faith and the fellowship.

One of those times was a missions conference when an enthusiastic, charismatic (not theologically speaking) man named Dale Cutlip spoke.  Mr. Grits and I settled in to enjoy hearing what missionaries around the world were doing, but to be honest, this wasn’t our thing.  Missions, I mean.  We just were there, because at this point we were always there. 

We were immediately taken in by his rapid-fire delivery of what the ministry he was with, Globeworks International was doing.  He began to talk about "preparing to go; but being willing to stay."  I still can’t explain what happened that night.  Over and over he said, that ALL Christians should be "preparing to go; but willing to stay" but that most were preparing to stay and not even that willing to go.  He and I both remember that phrase about that night. 

Mr. Grits and I picked up our children from the nursery– I think we had 3 by that point.  We were both very quiet until we had buckled the kids into their carseats and before we ourselves got in the car, we looked at each other, and we both knew.  It was just like that. 

"Oh, no,"  I said.   He just smiled. 

To be continued….