Be joyful and give thanks. ~ The Apostle Paul
For the time being I only have the use of my right hand and arm (I have an appointment with a neurologist tomorrow), but I prevailed and assembled the dining table and four chairs we purchased at IKEA. The table is tall, has a black finish, and is made of rubber wood. Bar stools with bench-like seats take the place of standard height chairs. Cool!
To say we have down-sized our domicile is an understatement of the first order. Our home in Georgia is situated on a large lot surrounded by mature pines and flowering shrubs. Within its brown brick walls there is over 3,000 square feet of living space, an attached two car garage, hardwood floors, ceramic tile, vaulted ceilings, two fire places, chandeliers, four bedrooms, 3 full baths, large patio, and landscaped yard. Our floor plan was designed for entertainment, and new faces and feet crossed the threshold of our front door during our entire stay there.
Our new digs - an apartment with not quite 1,200 square feet - is on the first floor and overlooks a pond. Two bedrooms, two full baths, a living room with unobstructed views of an oblong pond, and a small dining area is now our home. We love it. It feels really good, and we are having an absolute blast giving the interior an eclectic look. Our bikes are part of the decor - they are hanging on our wall!
The build-out of our first Planet Fitness is underway. In many ways life has come full circle. As a very young man, 23 years of age, I began church planting. That meant starting from scratch. No buildings. No staff. Scant resources. Only a dream and a rock solid belief that something yet unseen would come to fruition. That inspired us and inspired others and led to many a great adventure. During those days I was a key leader in eight different church construction projects. Three times I acted as the general contractor. Looking back, I can see that in those years of my spiritual formation the stage was set for a non-typical, but exciting journey.
Now I am in the secular workplace, and once again on the ground level. Still dreaming. Still believing, and still inspired by visions of a better future. Soon I will be the point man as we begin retrofitting an unfinished building for our first Planet Fitness Club. No staff, but we do have the blessing of a steady income! In the days ahead I will be interacting with thousands of people on a weekly basis; by observation and conversation I will learn the stories of many of those yet nameless and faceless persons. My life, as it is so defined, will impact theirs. Their life, as so defined, will speak into mine. It's all good!
I believe, as the Old Testament sages did, that everyone's life plays an important part in a grand drama. There's is one of purpose. Antagonists and protagonists, and seemingly disconnected fragments, mystically synthesize to reveal their destiny. Madness and gladness, confusion and clarity, blessings and brokenness are ours. Divine and the dark characters take center stage. Some are but subplots. In the end we learn that there was a purpose for every event under the sun. All the chaos and beauty that takes place between our two most epic events - our birth and our death - tell others of our tale and adventure.
On the wall of our tiny dining area are three weathered signs. Dream. Believe. Inspire. Dream, believe, and inspire. There is always more. Now. Beyond the veil.