Saturday, November 22, 2008

WEC Journey

When I came back to VA two years ago, I was a broken man. The kind of broken that couldn't be undone by any cure except the passage of time. One thing that I left behind in OH was a wonderful church -- Central Methodist. In VA, I ached to find a new church home. I needed that connection with God and that special, unique brand of Christian fellowship. I had never "church shopped" before and I was totally out of my element. I had no clue as to how I should begin. What I found were congregations with about 50 folks whose mean age was at least 125, music that was lifeless, sermons that were white noise to my ears (and yes, I realize this sounds like a harsh assessment, but it was my perception). Lost, defeated, and adrift I gave up after several months and a half dozen churches.

Fast forward to Feb. 2008. I was looking for a cabinet for my home. After a search that had consumed countless online hours, I found what I wanted. I made a beeline to the furniture store and inspected a floor model - it was stunning. I made my purchase and arranged for delivery. Two days later I get a call and am told that the piece was closed out and no more are in stock. In fact, the floor model that I looked at was already gone. They set up to refund my money. This episode lingered in my mind and ate at me. I didn't know why, but it was somehow more than the furniture. After a couple of days, I was moved to go back to the store, I don't know, maybe a trust but verify kind of thing. In retrospect, this was quite unlike me. Walking into the showroom, I was surprised to see that the floor model that I had studied just a few days earlier was right where I had left it. I talked to a very nice salesperson and just for the heck of it, she checked on its availability. Curiously, this piece had not been set aside for anyone. She told me that it was mine if I wanted it.

As I was arranging for delivery, I told the salesperson that I live on Waters Edge Dr. Her face lit up as she set about telling me about Waters Edge Church. She told me over the course of the next 30 minutes (in no uncertain terms) that I would definitely not be disappointed if I showed up. Attending to other customers was definitely not forefront in her mind as she told me about the people, the pastor, the music, the messages, and the laughter. She even went out to her car and gave me her program from earlier in the day (it was a Sunday). Her enthusiasm and generosity were wonderfully received and much needed in my life. I left the store with an entirely new attitude and spirit. Somehow I knew that my search was over.

It may seem silly, but I definitely feel that God's hand was on me, leading me to Waters Edge. Ten months after my first visit, I feel totally at home and am finding my place. This is where I am supposed to be. My beautiful cabinet sits in a prominent place in my home, and is a constant reminder of the watchful oversight of the great Shepherd.