A New Beginning
I can’t sleep. It is the early morning hours on New Year’s Eve, 2012. My spirit is troubled — not a negative type of trouble, but a restless kind of troubled.
A new year is about to break forth in the world, in my life — and I can’t help but feel like 2012 is incomplete and 2013 is already slipping from my grasp. There is so much I wanted to carry out that remains a dream — and so much I dream to carry out that remains beyond my grasp.
A former District Superintendent of mine, Dr. Mike Cavin, once challenged us as pastors and church leaders to ask a very telling question. It has remained with me to this day. “What are you willing to attempt in the coming year, that without God’s intervention, will fail.” You see, if we only attempt things we can carry out ourselves, without God, we show no faith. We live within the bounds of our own strength. But if we will risk, if we will trust, if we will dream big — and if we do so listening to God’s leading, looking for where God is already working and joining in the effort — we will not only succeed, the Kingdom of God will move closer to completion — and souls will be saved. The hungry will be fed, the naked clothed, the homeless will find a home, the thirsty will have their thirst quenched, those that are sick and in prison will be visited and restored. All kinds of marvelous, redemptive, just, merciful, gracious, kind, loving things will happen — if we only reach…..
And that brings me back to my troubled spirit. As I traveled to Nicaragua in March, 2012, a dream came to my mind. One that couples my passion for the work of Stop Hunger Now and my personal passion and pleasure of long distance rides on my Harley-Davidson motorcycle. At that time I dreamed of riding to each Stop Hunger Now site in the lower 48 states. At that time there were 9 locations, mostly along the eastern United States.
Since that time, I have had many conversations with friends, family, church members, community leaders, Stop Hunger Now staff, about what that ride might look like, cost, and carry out. Much of this discussion has excited and encouraged. Some of it has disappointed, and discouraging. After all, I am really no body. I don’t mean that in a self-defeating, depressing way. But I am no celebrity, sports star, famous preacher, or anything like that. I am not someone who will draw a crowd, generate media excitement, or even a ripple in the pond of the world. I am just a person who loves God, wants to make a difference in the world and who has a passion for the work of Stop Hunger Now. There is no reason for the news media to care about what I will or will not do. No reason for people to get excited that I have ridden a motorcycle to town or that I care about feeding the hungry.
And yet….this has been on my mind and in my heart for over a year — it feels incomplete. And time is running out. In the over 1 1/2 years I have had this dream, the number of Stop Hunger Now locations has grown. And not slowly! In one of the conversations I had with staff from Stop Hunger Now, looking at a possibility of making this ride in July, 2013; I discovered that would now mean a trip to 20 locations! Reaching from Orlando, FL up the eastern seaboard to Boston, MA, and west all the way to Santa Ana, CA and the San Francisco Bay area. With the rate of growth, and the rapidly expanding work of Stop Hunger Now, it will soon be almost impossible to make such a ride.
Right now I am honored and flattered that so many persons have followed my blog and have still kept up with my and my ramblings. I am honored that I have been part of meal packaging events that resulted in nearly 100,000 meals. I have been honored to be invited to meet with staff members at the Raleigh, NC office. Thanks for generous friends and church members I am looking forward to taking my 14 year-old daughter with me as I return to Nicaragua in March, 2013. My children are just a passionate as I am about doing all we can for this effort to end world hunger.
I guess I am rambling about this for these reasons:
1) Would you pray for my daughter and I as we prepare to visit with those who benefit from the Stop Hunger now meals and get to know them as people?
2) Would you consider a financial gift to aid us in the cost of the trip?
3) Looking forward, would you consider a financial gift towards our annual packing event at East Coweta Middle School with the 6th grade on the last day of school (we strive to package 20,000 meals which cost $5,000)?
4) Would you pray that God will speak more clearly to me about this “grand ride” to the Stop Hunger Now locations? It is my intention that riding to the locations will garner attention/publicity, raise funds, and increase the awareness of Stop Hunger Now and its efforts to end world hunger.
5) Would you help spread the word by sharing this blog, talking to others about Stop Hunger Now, dreaming with me (and actually the vision of founder, Ray Buchannon) that we can truly stop hunger in our lifetime. It is possible! Every day the world produces enough food for every living person to eat 4.3 pounds. It is not a supply problem. It is a distribution problem. It is a matter of choice that the people of the world make that keeps people hungry.
Well, I guess this will not help me go to sleep. But it does give me a place to share my mind, my heart, my passion. My spirit is still troubled. 2012 will end in a matter of a few hours. 2013 will begin…..and my spirit is still crying out for answers. Why didn’t it get done in 2012? Will it get done in 2013? What is my role? What can I do? What should I do? Oh, God — where is your will and how can I find my place in it??
Until the next time….The Hog Father,