Good afternoon to my new friends in North Carolina. Thanks for your amazing hospitality as I spent the day with you on Tuesday. And thanks for your prayerful support of what we are trying to do through these speaking engagements. I hope I get to join you again soon in the Tar Heel state.
There's a part of me that loves making trips. Going new places and discovering new things brings a lot of excitement. I almost feel smarter (I know, it doesn't take much) for having been exposed to new cultures and meeting new people. There is an element of fear, though. The uncertainty of new places and new faces. I was thinking as I flew home from Charlotte last night about how tired I was from learning names, interacting with new people and sharing my story yet again.
I think that's true with any new venture though. If trying something new were easy, we would all be doing it. But any time we choose to take a new direction with our lives, there will be a little trepidation that accompanies that decision.
Carrying that thought a little further...how much more is that fear intensified when it is a new path that is forced upon us rather than one that we chose? For example, living alone after the death of a spouse, starting a new career after being "down-sized," or moving to a new city as a child. No new thing is easy...but they are so good for us. I walked around outside the auditorium at the hospital yesterday. There they have a museum displaying some of the early history of medicine that includes some of the instruments used from the early 1900's. Can I tell you how thankful I am that some guy, somewhere challenged the efficiency of a hacksaw for surgical procedures? How much have all of us benefited from the person who decided that he would try something new one day and give something else besides a shot of whiskey to numb the pain? Were these guys afraid when they brought their new ideas to the table? You bet! What if they failed? What if others laughed or their ideas failed to be embraced? But, worse yet, what if they had decided to stick with status quo and not challenge the process? I think we have to agree that new faces, new places, new ideas and new philosophies can be a blessing. And sometimes the only way those ideas will come is if they are "forced" upon us.
My involvement in the medical profession is something I would have never chosen for myself. While my contributions are limited, I think they are valuable. I think they are worthwhile. But, without the death of my son, I would have never entered this field and been challenged to do what I do. Something new, something scary but something that I can see now, has the influences of God's purpose for my ministry. I hope you'll do your part to embrace something new this week. You'll never know where God may lead you.