After our Easter Sunday services at Graystone (which were AWESOME BTW), our family loaded in the swagger wagon and the Camry (My son, Jolean, and his buddy, Omar, drove the Camry…which is CRAZY but anyway…) and headed to the beach. We got to go to “our beach house” in Hammock Beach Resort. It’s not really “our beach house” but actually some of our best friends’ beach house. We joke with them that it’s “our beach house”, because they are extremely generous and allow us to use it OFTEN. We had a wonderful vacation at the beach with perfect weather all 5 days. We hit the beach and resort pools. I played golf 3 times. Jennifer and I walked 5 mornings in a row. We ate tons of great food. We had a phenomenal vacation with our family and friends. God is good!
We came back on Saturday so we could be at Graystone on Sunday. Sunday at Graystone was phenomenal. I had no “responsibilities” in the service, so I was able to attend, worship and listen/learn from Ben’s teaching (He preached a great message BTW.) It was a great way to finish off a restful week OFF.
Before I left church, a good friend shared with me something that he had heard through “the grapevine”. It was 3rd or 4th hand information. It was something that another good friend of mine had supposedly said about me. Typically, when I hear rumors about me, it usually doesn’t bother me, because I “consider the source”. But this one was coming from a good friend of mine whom I respect greatly. At first, I knew it wasn’t true. It was simply a lie.
Or was it? Did this person really say that about me? Surely not? If he really thought that, he wouldn’t tell someone else. He would talk directly to me. I’m not believing the lie.
Then later Sunday afternoon as I was watching the final round of The Masters, which BTW is my favorite sporting event to watch for the entire year. I started thinking about the lie again. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I texted my friend who shared the information with me to make sure it was accurate. “Are you sure this person said that? Or did someone else say that?” You’ve probably been there. Maybe not? When we start believing a lie, it will mess with our heads.
I paused The Masters and went for a walk with Jennifer. And we discussed it. We do a lot of walking and talking. She said that I just needed to call my friend and ask him straight up if he said it. Brilliant.
But what if he did say it? What if he really thinks that about me? I really don’t like conflict. I don’t know. It’s probably not true anyway, and I’m turning a molehill into a mountain. I ought to just let it go. If he had a problem with me, he would have just called me.
I’m not sure what to do. I will just sleep on it. Pray about it in the morning and see what God leads me to do.
I couldn’t sleep on Sunday night. I have sleep issues as it is, but I could not shake this lie from my mind. Satan, our enemy, loves to lie to us. Mess with our minds.
After a rough night of tossing and turning, I woke up Monday morning with this lie consuming my brain. It was the focus of my prayer time. I talked with Jennifer about it AGAIN. And she said AGAIN. You just need to call your friend. Men, listen to your wives. God has given them to us from a reason. They are much smarter than we are.
So, after MUCH prayer, I called my friend. It went to voicemail. Great. I left a message for him to call me. So, all day Monday, I was waiting for him to call me back. The lie kept ringing around my mind. I was playing out different scenarios. It was CRAZY. I was consumed by it. It distracted me all day. I had a hard time focusing during my various staff meetings.
I started believing the lie was true. What if my friend doesn’t call me back? What if we aren’t friends anymore?
I hate Mondays. And the Monday after the Sunday after Easter Sunday is one of the worst Mondays for all pastors. Easter Sunday is so great and the following Sunday is one of the lowest attended Sundays of the year. It’s like the first day after you get back from your honeymoon. EVERYONE goes to church on Easter Sunday, so lots of people skip church the next Sunday. And it was Spring Break. So, we had a record LOW attendance at Graystone. Maybe this lie has something to do with our low attendance at Graystone?
When you start believing a lie, it can consume you. It can sideline you. It can steal your joy. And Monday, I let a lie steal my entire day.
FINALLY, my friend called me after he got off work. I told him what I had heard through “the grapevine”. And he said it wasn’t true. It was just a lie. He said that he didn’t believe that about me. He didn’t say it. And he had no idea where it would come from or who would spread the lie or rumor.
So, I let a lie steal the last day of my vacation. I let it take away from my Sunday worship experience. I let it hinder watching my favorite sporting event of the year. I let the lie cause me to lose sleep and steal my Monday.
Don’t let a lie steal your joy. Don’t let a lie steal your day. Don’t let a lie steal your week, month, year…LIFE.
The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life,and have it to the full.” John 10:10