One week from tonight, in the middle of the night, I will be in Galveston, Texas with a team of 19 people. We'll be starting a week of rebuilding efforts in response to 2008's Hurricane Ike. Tonight, as Yo Momma, Papa Bear and I sat and talked about the trip it occurred to me that on April 2, 2006 in the middle of the night I was driving into the town of Pearlington, Mississippi to do Hurricane Katrina recovery work. So much has happened in those 5 years, things expected and unexpected. I am the same and yet not the same person that drove into that town with a sense of calling, purpose and Holy Spirit compelling.
A couple of weeks ago part of a sermon I gave was on following the compelling of the Holy Spirit. As I've grown in faith I've come to recognize when the Holy Spirit is pushing me into something, challenging me and I've come to recognize how I squelch that compelling Spirit, ignore it, deny it. I challenged the congregation to ask themselves why they do things...do they act out of the compelling force of the Holy Spirit or because they are expected to do something or because they have been doing the task for so long it just has become something that they do, not something they enjoy or are inspired to do. After the first service someone asked me if I felt the same compelling to Texas that I did to Mississippi. My quick answer was no. But I do feel compelled to support and encourage the youth in my care and so I go to Texas.
I've thought about that more, though, and my answer has changed. I am compelled to help people, to love others, to bring hope to others lives, wherever that may take me. If it's Texas, so be it. It's a new challenge, a new opportunity to be stretched and to grow...but just so we are clear the people of Pearlington have first dibs on my heart, which is why I get home from Texas on the 9th and go to Pearlington on the 14th. The call, the compelling of the Holy Spirit is still strong and so I go.