One or two minutes? That part is going to be tough…
I am going to start with is “where I experience God”. The trite answer is everywhere. The more I thought of this, in my case, the more I believe it to be true. I see God’s work every moment of every day. I feel it when I go for a walk, mowing the lawn, cooking a meal, working in the garden, being with friends, my kids, my grandkids, anybody’s kids and my fantastic and lovely wife ( that’s a three pointer for sure). I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
Growing with God is different. I have found that God puts people in your way to help you grow. I have of few that have been major game changers for me over the years. Back in 1963 my mother remarried and moved us out of rural Minnesota to northern Illinois just outside of Chicago. My stepfather, who was a long distance trucker, decided to take me along on a trip to Florida. Along on this trip was his helper. As we drove south through Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida something started to trouble me. I became aware that Melvin (the helper) wasn’t allowed to eat in the same places we ate or sleep at the same places we slept. I didn’t know of “Jim Crow” before of this and I quickly realized this was wrong. This is when I learned that no one should be treated differently because of who or what they are.
God put another memorable person in my way in the mid 1970’s. Actually it was a couple, Max and Rachel. I was working in the produce section of a grocery store and they would come in almost daily, Rachel with a scarf over her head and Max wearing his tweed newsboy cap They were probably in their mid 70’s or so. To a kid of 20-21, I thought them to be elderly. I don’t think that anymore. Max and Rachel had the greatest of dispositions and were kind and generous to all they met. Max always had a story to tell or a joke to share. Max also used to make these tiny little airplanes with working wheels and propellers and just the greatest detail. He would make these from soda cans. He would incorporate the colors from the cans in all his designs. Max would give these to people he met, mostly children. I found out later that he was a watchmaker before they moved to the U.S. from Europe. It wasn’t long after I learned this that I first noticed the Star of David and the serial number Max had tattooed on his arm. From this man I learned to enjoy every second of every day and to always find something to smile or laugh about.
The next major person God decided to put in my path came into my life came 12 years ago. I have probably grown more as a person since meeting Patty. From her I have learned what real faith is. You all know this to be true.
Now the part of “why is my life different because of God”. First he allowed me to have all of these life experiences, some good, some noooot so good. But it allowed me to become ME. Then some time along the road he led me to Patty, and that led to us being in this church. You all pretty much know the history from there, but this congregation has become a big part of our lives. We cherish you all and we are truly saddened if we have to miss. But I think the biggest reason my life is different because of God is that he challenges me daily to “Be Somebody for Someone, Somewhere”.