Last night, Jennifer and I had the chance to escape down to Winston-Salem for the evening. The kids went to church with Jennifer’s mom & dad, and I didn’t have any meetings for once. We went to Hanes Mall and did some shopping and then went out to eat. You know you’re in a small town when you drive over an hour to go on a date. I did get a cool shirt from Buckle and a great commentary set at Lifeway. I guess that is a pretty big contrast. You can tell that I am trying to stay young. Jennifer and I went to Village Tavern to eat. The food was great, but the time alone with my wife was even better. I can’t believe that after 12 years of marriage that I am still madly in love with my wife.
Dinner brought back some old memories. We lived in Winston from ’95 to ’96 and Village Tavern was one of our favorite places for a romantic date. We were fresh out of college and ready to conquer the world. It’s amazing how time has flown. I was working as a crash test engineer for an aerospace company and Jennifer was teaching pre-K at a Christian school. We were members of Calvary Baptist Church and we were definite church consumers. Like sponges, we soaked in everything we could for the entire year we lived there. We got to hear great expository preaching from Dr. Mark Corts and great teaching from Dr. Gary Chapman every week.
But there comes a time when you have to start squeezing that sponge, and pouring out what you have learned. When God opened up an opportunity for us to move back to our hometown of Galax, we felt that we had no other choice. God was definitely leading us here. And he squeezed us hard, immediately opening up opportunities to serve as youth leaders. But it has been worth it every step of the way. And that is why we as Christian leaders must challenge our people to move from consuming to contributing. It’s alright to consume for a while, but you will never be truly happy or content until you start serving and pouring your life out for others. You get to a point where you can’t soak anything else in until you start squeezing some of the excess out. Your Christian journey is that continual process of soaking in and squeezing out.