Who Grew?

Tuesday, September 9

Gary McDonald

Gary McDonald

By Gary McDonald of Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

—Romans 14:19 NRSV

Whenever A.C. took to the podium to preach, I groaned. He was boring to this 10-year-old. I tried to get something from his sermons, but, as a youngster, I never could. Instead, I would count the minutes until they were over. His sermons were consistently tedious.

I didn’t know that A.C. was a convert to the community and was slowly growing in his discipleship. Years later, I recall him saying his few experiences with church had been during childhood, when an aunt took him on special occasions. This meant he had no mentors or teachers to emulate or question. He was learning on the job.

I grew up and matured while A.C. continued improving on his sermons. I remember a Sunday when I was listening to him. How intelligent and interesting he was!

I wondered when the change took place. Later I realized it had happened only after years of practice. I soon realized I had changed only after years of listening.

In remembrance of his valuable friendship and service, I can say only that I am glad God gives us room to grow.

Prayer for Peace God of wisdom, forgive us when we expect perfection from one another. We are all flawed. Thank you for loving us as we are and as we may become. Help us support and encourage one another.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring God’s Call to Others Reflect on God’s call in your life. Quietly reflect on the moments when you have experienced God’s presence and invitation to expand your gifts. Write in your journal or quietly reflect on images and insights that come. When have you experienced God through the calling and gifts of others? How do your gifts connect with the call of God you notice in your family, friends, congregation, or community?

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will remember of me and my friends that we’re not perfect, and that’s OK. That’s perfect!

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