I first stepped foot on this Island close to 30 years ago. A lot has changed, here on the island and in my life. Each time I return God teaches me something new and different about myself. It was the first time I was here that I first heard God calling me into full-time ministry. Sitting on a bench in Coxen Hole, across from the Baptist Church, God spoke so clearly there was no room for doubt…a call had been placed upon my life. Since then the call has evolved, changed and grown to be more than I originally imagined but walking with God has remained central to the mission and vision of my life.
Over the past five years I have been blessed to return to this place many times. Each time I have come there has been a focus, a goal, a project if you will that has been the focus of my time. Maybe a sports camp, building a water purification system, rehabbing a house, putting a roof on a youth center, working to provide a party for a group of 400 seniors from all over the island who rarely are the center of attention, spending time with the I WAS, I AM feeding program, and so much more. Whatever the project it does not matter because that is secondary to the relationships that are built, the friendships forged as we simply slow down and “do life together”.
As I was waiting in the customs line last Saturday (on my 47th birthday) I looked into the airport and there was a familiar face, smiling, waving, welcoming me back to his island. As soon as Rayann, Julia, Emily and I made it through the line and out into the lobby Pablo was there to greet us. “Hello Rayann, Hello Mr. Dan” and even though we had not seen each other for over a year it was like friends who see each other every day.
Over the past few days I learned, yet again, what it means to slow down…to have a plan and allow it to change 5 or 6 times in 10 minutes and watch everything fall into place. There is no doubt that experiences like these stretch me, they cause me to be at peace with chaos and to be able to sit back and say, “oh well, it will happen when it happens.” There is no doubt it causes me anxiety…I mean, let’s be clear here, I have my sermon series outlined and planned for the next twelve months. I believe excel is a gift from God and ought to be used wisely a whole lot more than it is (if you are asking, “what is excel?” I can / will provide counseling) Having a plan and working that plan through to completion is powerful…it is the way God has wired me to think and I try to leverage that to build the Kingdom of God. Yet these times where plans almost seem non-existent, or when you have a detailed plan that has to be “abandoned” ten minutes into the day because of unforseen circumstances are stretching times, times that cause me to trust in the God of all plans. I have learned that if I can simply relax and “go with the flow” there will be some amazing times of meeting men and women of God, people who are the hands and feet of Jesus.
Abba Father, help me to relax and walk with you through the different experiences you have for me here in Roatan or back at home.