June 22, 2022
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I don’t know about you, but I’m having so much fun as of late. You see I’m a talker. There’s nothing better for me than a good conversation. Add a good meal in the mix and you’ve got a winning formula. Time is suspended as you lean back in your chair and share story after story. Some are funny. Others are serious. All of them mean something in regards to our identity as people. If we listen carefully enough, we will realize that stories also reveal how and when God is at work in our lives. We begin to see providence versus happenstance. The dots connect from one story to another then from one life to another. We thought we were the only ones until we realized we weren’t. Another person experienced that same thing, had that same thought, or loves that same place. Shooting the breeze isn’t a waste of time. It’s revealing the very essence of our hearts, minds, and souls. There’s no better time to shoot the breeze than during this season of summer breeze we’ve been celebrating. The relaxed rhythm invites us to sit long and talk much…don’t hurry…rather enjoy one another. In that sense, allow me to shoot the breeze with you for just a bit with a few summer stories. They’re a bit random, and I don’t profess to connect them with a masterful narrative arch. They just come to my heart and mind as I imagine reclining and sharing with you wherever you might be at the moment. You’ve got time to shoot the breeze with your pastor, don’t you?

My favorite place to vacation as a child was Lake Wateree. Located in the midlands of the great state of South Carolina, my family has had a small piece of land there since the fifties. My grandfather built a shack that served as our shelter. It consisted of an old Airstream trailer he bought off of a GI at Fort Jackson, a front porch for eating, and a back porch for sleeping. Needless to say, the accommodations were rustic, but it might as well have been a castle for me. I was but feet from the water where we fished and swam all day long. Evening meals were amongst my favorite as the scorched earth would cool down enough so that the family could sit around the table and talk. Sometimes these conversations would last late into the night. The old shack was torn down in 1990 as our family built an actual house that we still use today, but man oh man, how I would like to walk through that old shack one more time. One more meal. One more thunderstorm so I could hear the rain slapping down on the old tin roof as I fell asleep.

There wasn’t hardly a summer camp I went to as a kid where I didn’t get homesick. I have no clue as to why. I would be doing fine until a sudden anxiety would trip me up. I just began to miss home. “How could my parents go on without me?”, I wondered. Now don’t laugh. That was actually my concern! I remembered one summer camp in particular where I was so upset that I had to call home. Without a nickel to my name (I spent it all my money on ordering pizza the night before), I used the old fashion 1-800-COLLECT system. You remember doing that back when pay phones were an actual thing, don’t you? I’m sure my parents paid a fortune on their phone bill that week, but they always accepted the charges and talked with me for however long was needed until I calmed down. Heck. My dad even came and spent the night with me at camp during the week. While being compassionate, they always insisted I tough it out. See it through. I appreciate their combination of nurture and nudging. It really helped me grow in maturity.

The coolest summer trip I ever took was a two-week tour of England and France when I was sixteen. Mom and dad really sacrificed so that I could go. Actually, I think it was shrewd play on their part. It gave them further justification for me to drive my family’s 1978 Ford Granada until it died. Afterall, which one do you want, David? A new car or this trip? I honestly wanted the trip, and they honestly did not want to buy another car. I guess it worked out, didn’t it? Regardless, for fourteen days I saw things in person that before were only known to me by books and pictures. History took on a new meaning as I walked around the ruins of Stonehenge. Beauty and imagination soared while walking the same gardens that inspired impressionists like Monet. The world became impossibly big, and I wanted to see it all. I still do. There is still so much more to travel and see. I can’t wait for the next trip.

Thanks for allowing me to shoot the breeze with you a little bit. Did you see God at work in them? I think I do. I’d love to hear your stories if you’d be so kind as to tell them. I think we can spot God in them as well. I’ve always got the time; especially during this summer season. When can we talk? I can’t wait to do so! May the summer breeze continue to blow as we shoot the breeze with stories that reflect our past and inspire our present.


Pastor David

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