Once upon a time (6 years ago, maybe), Pastor David was thinking about doing a study on Revelation and I loaned him a book -- a good one -- that my mom had sent me. I think he changed his mind about doing the study. Several months went by and I asked him about the book and he said, "I can't find it." He'd shake his head and look puzzled. "I don't know what happened to it, but it just isn't there..."
Whenever Pastor David's wife, Sheila, invited us to their house, I'd wander (sneak) off into his office to look for the book. He was right.
It wasn’t there. I couldn't find it.
They continued to look. They couldn't find it.
They hadn't thrown it away or taken it anywhere, but it just wasn't there anymore.
Not lost, just temporarily misplaced.
Time kept on slipping away into the future. David resigned the church and became the pastor at the church down the road from their house. We got a new pastor -- well, several actually -- but finally, a really good one, Ralph.
Sheila and I continued to be friends – something that often does not happen when people leave one church and go to another. Then about a year ago, Sheila e-mailed me with the news that she had found the book. She was fixing up the bedroom where a girl they had hosted as a foreign exchange student had slept so it would be convenient for a married daughter who was coming back for a visit with a new baby. The girl had taken the book to read, without telling anyone, and had left it under the bed when she went back to Japan. Sheila was a bit embarrassed to admit she had not done anything in the room for several years.
Now back home safe and sound, the book settled in on my bookshelf, where I promptly forgot about it. Until now. Several months ago I began a series of lessons on worry (which I desperately needed to teach myself).
Yes. This was the first thing I handed out to the class. Only I didn't learn the lessons all that well, and I started worrying about what I was going to teach next.
I suggested that Ralph continue on with a series of lessons on Revelation he had started on Wednesday nights three summers ago but never finished. He canceled that service because he had major surgery and we never started back up.
He threw down the gauntlet:
"Why don't you teach the class."
"Me? You've got to be kidding?"
Well, silly person that I am, I got to thinking about it, and lost my mind for a moment, and I picked up the gauntlet and launched into it.
I thought the church was going to shut down because too few people were attending and that I would not actually have to finish what I started.
At the last church business meeting, we were supposed to vote to close the church because of dwindling attendance and I calculated that I would be able to quit about the time the Four Horseman showed up.
I was wrong. Everybody voted to continue having church. And here they are
Now I will have to finish, unless a Trumpet sounds sometime when we least expect it within the next couple of months.
And now on to the mystery of the 144,000.