In 2005 working as a pastor in the Oregon Conference I read about a story of Benjamin Franklin speaking to a crowd on the wonderful guarantee of liberty provided by the United States Constitution. Midway through his talk, one of these cynics called out, “But what about this ‘pursuit of happiness’? Where’s our guarantee of happiness?” Franklin smiled and replied, “My friend, the Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness; you have to catch it yourself.”
I appreciate what Benjamin said – because I have learned through the years that happiness is no entitlement. You can’t buy it at the ABC, or at a store in the mall. Contrary to popular opinion, wealth isn’t even a distant relative of happiness. Yet there seems to be a lot people in this world who are in pursuit of things they feel will bring happiness only to find out that it eludes them.
A college degree, that 60” television, the car you just purchased with the new car smell, your home with the huge back yard. You will have to admit with me that there are some things in your possession that has lost its fizzle and its excitement. It doesn’t challenge you or give you the thrill you received when you first had those things. What will it be for you in 2015?
The marriage you are in – the career you chose – your financial status – your faith – your relationship with God. Have you been in neutral for so long that you too have become a cynic? You haven’t really seen God much in your life so you jump on others who claim to have God moving and working in their lives.
I don’t know about you but I want the kind of living faith that causes me to leap out of the bed in the morning, filled with laser-intense purpose, exhilarated about the prospect of another twenty-four hours on earth serving the God we have grown to love. I don’t want to be purpose-impaired, with a surplus of longing, yearning, hopelessness, loneliness, and lacking passion. Remember the times when your blood was really pumping, when your heart was skipping beats, and when it seemed there was some purpose you were reaching toward with everything in you. My challenge to the constituents of the British Columbia Conference is no mediocrity this year, no complacency, no business as usual. Let’s move! The cloud is not setting, but moving. Our path has been set; I challenge you to move from being members to ministers to missionaries in your community.
It is time to move. If you have just been a member it’s time to move. If you have just been serving the church, it’s time to move. If you have been sharing only in the church, it’s time to move further out than you have gone before. To REACH BC and the Yukon with a Christ-centered message of HOPE and WHOLENESS.
British Columbia Conference with a purpose – reaching our communities for Jesus!
Wayne Culmore, President