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A fairy tale???

The Vineyard

Dear Friends:

I have discovered that the nights when I am “empty” and have absolutely nothing to share that I receive the most comments from my little “thoughts”, but the nights when I feel most endowed and erudite, no one is impressed, seems to notice or care.  God blesses me in my ignorance, weakness and journalistic dearth, and overlooks my attempts to contribute—He does His work when I get out of the way.

Today, as you can already imagine, was a spiritual and personal fiasco. I did not live up to my expectations and goals as a pastor, camp director, father and boss.  I am not happy with my responses to the challenges I faced, the manner that I responded to difficult phone calls/emails/meetings, or my “attitude” at in particularly awkward moments.

Today it snowed—-all day. But the Stokes County School Superintendent failed to let us know that school was cancelled until AFTER we got up, got the children ready for school, etc.   So rather than relax and enjoy a little respite from the Monday morning madness, we hurried up so that could wait and be told the obvious—-“the roads are bad, no school today”.   (Yes, yes, I know that I am not sounding very “Christian”, but  I do hope that I am responding honestly and human nonetheless. There are days that I am weary of the entire “race” and “fight” and I feel rather ignoble and not very ready for the next task at hand).

All the boys were home today because of cancelled school, all the office staff were sick or unable to come to work because of the ice, and everything feel upon me.  It was the perfect environment for a “to feel sorry for myself” day and I felt that it was my right to claim this sentiment for the entire day. I am not “happy” with how I handled this and I hope pray that we will have no more snow days; I do pine, more than ever in my life, for time, place and state of mind when I can stop being “responsible” for the business, family, ministry and operations and enjoy the snow, the solitude, the sunset, the quiet.

But of course not the reason I was redeemed by Jesus. It was for these very days that I was purchased by His blood—-i.e. to live in the common, every day, “rat-race” existence in which we are all required to live.  There notion of  “living happily ever after” is indeed a fairy tale, unless we choose to spot living as real men and women. But I can have a certainty that I am walking a path traveled by other men and women, many much further along in their walk with God, that met great challenges, frustrations and “snowy days” than I have, but yet maintained their composure, focus, determination, drive and zeal.

Being a Christian is not a fairy tale existence, it’s an odyssey.


Dean Barley

The Vineyard

336 351 2070

919 360 8493 (Mobile)

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