FROM THE BISHOP
In just a few short weeks, God’s people of the South Georgia Conference will show up in Columbus for Annual Conference as we celebrate “How Great is Your Faithfulness.” When we show up on June 5, it will have been three years since the conference last gathered in person. It has been a long journey. For four days, we will worship five times and we will see friends and make new ones. It will be a homecoming in some ways.
Of course, we have church business to deal with and perhaps some of it will be difficult. Yet, we are God’s people and we need to be in a spirit of prayer as an Annual Conference, that when all is said and done, we can all say God was with us and “How great is your faithfulness.”
I believe all that is going on in our church, in our world, and our communities, God is always showing up.
On Saturday, April 23, we were returning from a powerful event at Epworth By The Sea following the United Methodist Men’s Retreat. Nancy and I had just gotten on I-16 from I-95. To this point, it had really been a journey as it seemed like half the United States was heading up I-95. We had to go around a traffic accident and evening was beginning to set in. A few miles up I-16, my right rear tire disintegrated, and we had to quickly pull off the interstate. The tire was gone down to the rim. A six-inch screwdriver fell out of the tire. It had been a long time since I changed a tire and never on my current Toyota Highlander.
Nancy said, “You need to call AAA because I don’t think you can change it.” I told her, “You can call AAA, but I am going to try and change it.” Nancy shook her head and got back in the car to make the call as traffic whizzed by us.
I got the owner’s manual out because the spare tire was up under the rear of the vehicle. I was trying to get it down, frustrated, thinking, “Maybe Nancy is right, I can’t change this tire.”
In the moment of my frustration and growing concern, God showed up in the form of a young couple. The first words out of Lauren’s mouth were, “We are here to help you.”
I sure needed help. Her next statement was, “We passed you and I said we need to stop; those people are old and they need help.” The old part was a little hard to swallow, but we sure needed help.
Within 20 minutes, the tire was changed and we were back on the road to Macon. Nancy was right; I could not have changed the tire myself. We needed two jacks to get the car off the ground so the spare tire could be put on. The lug nuts on the wheel needed more strength than I could muster. They were wonderful people who just wanted to help us older people. Yet, there was a deeper God thing going on as they did it out of the kindness of their heart. It is amazing what happens when God’s people show up. God shows up in ways we cannot begin to imagine. Even on the interstate with a flat tire.
Get prayed up, my friends, for all that is coming to Annual Conference. For it is amazing what happens when God’s people show up.
I look forward to being a part.