Laura and I are in Lexington visiting her parents for a couple of days while our kids are at church camp. I went for a jog this morning in a nearby park, and I noticed a sign that read, "Caution: This Area May Flood Without Warning." Rather odd, I thought. And it made me pick up my pace a little bit. After all, if a flood could come without warning, and Park Management didn't seem fit to have any life-vests nearby, I wanted to move to higher ground!
As I was running back to my in-laws' house, I thought about how so many "floods" in life come without warning: loss of job, cancer, heart attacks, car accidents, and other such unpleasantries of life. But there are also good things that flood our lives without warning: finding love, "surprised by joy" (to use C. S. Lewis's phrase), the laughter of a young child, and the peace and power of God's Spirit.
We can plan, manage, and do our best to control our life circumstances. We can eat right, exercise, get plenty of rest at night, and still get hit by a car. No matter how hard we try, we can't always avoid the bad, and we can't always usher in the good. Sometimes life just happens without warning.
In church life, we can do our best to plan and manage solid, Christ-centered ministries, outreach services, and worship gatherings, and sometimes growth happens, and sometimes it doesn't. We can't control the Holy Spirit. Perhaps the best thing that could happen as we begin this new chapter at E91 together is to see warning signs posted around the church campus that say, "Caution: This Area May Flood Without Warning." May we be the kind of church where God's Spirit floods us with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). And when people in our community see what God is doing, may they be overwhelmed with the flood of His love and truth, even it comes to them without warning.