As you know, my son, Tim, spoke in Atlanta at the G3 conference held from Thursday to Saturday. I had idyllic plans to see him throughout the day on Friday, along with two of my daughters. Let me tell you how it played out. Starting with The Plan.
We would all get up very early on Friday morning and meet at the church south of Atlanta where Tim was to speak. John and I would pick up Grace enroute. Maryanne would go separately. Neat and clean….Until…,
We heard that freezing rain was expected in the Chattanooga area early that morning…
Now what? I know! We will pick up Grace Thursday evening and all go to Maryanne’s, just north of Atlanta and stay overnight there….Until….
We heard that freezing rain was now expected there the next morning, as well…
Not good. And Emma, Maryanne’s daughter, seems to have broken her arm again. She will need x-rays asap. Alright! Maryanne is now officially out of the picture…
So, John, Grace and I will leave Thursday evening and rent a motel room close to the conference. Perfect!….Until….
My second daughter, Susanna, thinks she will probably go into labor that night after her doctor’s appointment. I am on deck to care for the other children….
So, John and I will go and stay with Susanna and see what the night brings. We may or may not get to the conference. All things considered, Grace now officially opts out…
John and I spend the night in Atlanta with Susanna. Little Josiah defers his arrival and we ‘get to the church on time’.
Wonderful! We hear Tim speak - he is first up that morning. He does a great job. Then we hear Steve Lawson – excellent. Now lunch…and…
As we eat, I begin to feel funnier and funnier….”John, I think we need to go home…”
So we did.
But we did hear our son. And our daughters all got to see their brother at one time or another.
Should we call that a qualified success?
And just a couple of observations from the bit of the conference we did attend:
I was interested in the age range of the speakers. I would say Tim, in his thirties, was the youngest. Then up a few years to Paul Washer and Joel Beeke. Up again to Steve Lawson. (I did not see or recognize the other speakers) It was lovely to see these men, all faithful in their own generation…The attendees were, I would say, mostly forties and under. As I am not a conference regular I do not know whether or not this is typical.
Tim’s basic point was that we can’t “go, preach and disciple”nearly as effectively through the mediated relationships of our new cyber era as face to face. Personal, close-up contact remains the church and missionary ideal. Only he said it better and with more detail!
For some reason, this reminded me of one of the most sobering missionary incidents I have ever read about. Let me share it with you.
A certain tribe, in Asia I think, had been newly reached by the gospel – more or less nineteen hundred and fifty years after the death and resurrection of Christ. The tribe embraced the good news willingly, with great excitement. But the wheels were turning. They began to understand the beloved older generations had died and entered Hell. One of the tribesman sat with the missionary one day and asked,
“Did your grandfather know this good news?
“Yes”, the missionary answered.
“Then why didn’t he come to tell my grandfather about it?”
No good answer for that, is there?
Anyway, I promise to continue on with Entering the Church on Wednesday!