From 1986 to 1999 I served as full-time youth minister in three Baptist churches. Nine-and-a-half of those years were spent out in Haskell near Abilene. We loved it there and still have many friends in that part of the world. While living in Haskell, I was invited, on occasion, to head out to Lubbock to serve as a small-group leader for some weekend ministry events known in Baptist circles as “Disciple Now,” or “D.N.” for short.
During a “D.N.” weekend, the church’s youth group would be divided into several small groups, each group being assigned to a “host home,” the home of a particular family within the church where the group would spend much of their time over the weekend studying the Bible, playing, eating, and, hopefully, sleeping.
One year I was invited to Lubbock for a “D.N.,” and when I arrived I was told that the host family I had stayed with the previous year had requested that I stay with them again this year. I, of course, was honored.
At the big kick-off banquet Thursday night I was told by my host family that they had moved to another house and was given a map with directions. There were two small children in the family at that time, so after the banquet they informed me they were going on home to get the kids in bed. They said they would leave the front door open,and that I should go down the hall to the first empty bed. That would be “my” room.
We had some meetings and fellowship time at the church. I arrived at the house just before midnight and found the wooden front door was open, but the glass door was locked. I didn’t want to ring the doorbell and wake everyone up, so I decided to go to the back door to see if, maybe, it was open.
I couldn’t even get in the back yard because the gate in the wooden fence was locked. I was really getting frustrated. I walked back and forth from the front door to that gate for some 10 or 15 minutes, thinking that maybe someone would eventually look out one of the doors to see if I had arrived. They didn’t.
Finally, I walked out to the street corner to verify that I was at the right house. I wasn’t. I was on BelKNAP,and the house I was supposed to be at was one block over on BelFORT.
I quickly threw my duffel bag in my Jimmy and took off. When I got to the right house, the door was open! I went in and went to bed.
It wasn’t until the next morning that fear hit me. What if someone at that first house had seen me pulling on that glass door, thinking I was trying to break in? Or even worse, what if that glass door had been unlocked, and I had gone in and walked down the hall to the room with the first empty bed — and got in it? Still scares me to think about it.
Once again, God took care of me. I’m sure glad He did!
Life’s an adventure. I’m livin’ it up!
Randy McLelland, a.k.a. Randy Mac, is senior pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church on FM 202. He plays the role of "Grandpa" in The Promise and, through his “Livin' It Up” ministries, is a motivational speaker and Christian entertainer.