LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Mark Beeson on 20 Years

This weekend we are pulling out all the stops to have a huge 20th Anniversary celebration! The letter below just went out from Mark Beeson to our church. It was so good, I just had to share it with you...

Dear Church:

“Left foot. Okay. Good. Now your right foot. Great. You ready?”

Now our boots were completely saturated with scent eliminator spray; no chance the deer would smell us. Aaron grinned. I caught his smile and asked, “What’re you thinking?”

“I was just remembering.” he replied, “We’ve done this since I was a little kid. It’s always the last thing we do before we head out. Now we’re doing it again. You always say, ‘Left foot. Right foot.’ And we’re on our way.”

For twenty years I’ve been hunting with my son. Doesn’t seem that long, but it’s true. Two decades of time, conversation, shared adventure and cherished memories flood back into my mind as I walk into the woods behind my son.

“Left foot. Right foot.”

I used to lead him every step of the way; now he seeks a good path for both of us. I once carried all our stuff; he now carries his gear and some of mine. I taught him to take note of each footfall, making sure he broke no sticks and made no noise; now I can’t hear him as he moves ahead of me in the woods. Once upon a time he reached up to hold my hand; now he looks me in the eye.

“Left foot. Right foot.”

It used to be that Sheila would see us off for our early morning hunts saying, “I know you’ll keep an eye on Aaron.” I remember that this day her parting words weren’t to me. She spoke to her son, “Take care of your dad, Aaron.” As I recall, he turned and gave her a nod and a smile, apparently offering enough assurance for her to wave us out the door.

“Left foot. Right foot.”

It’s been a good twenty years. A few have been easier for us than others, but we’ve shared the trek and walked together every step of the journey. Somewhere along the way we reached a tipping point, a shift in role and relationship that enriched both our lives. He grew up—all my children grew up. They know the way and we walk together even when we are apart. Our unity is not determined by our proximity; we are closer than mere distance can separate. We have our bearings. Our direction is set.

“Left foot. Right foot.”

For twenty years I’ve been serving Jesus beside you at GCC. Doesn’t seem that long, but it’s true. Two decades of time, conversation, shared adventure and cherished memories flood back into my mind as I walk beside you into our future. It’s been a good twenty years. A few have been easier for us than others, but we’ve shared the trek and walked together every step of the journey. We have our bearings. Our direction is set.

We’ve been traveling for twenty years and somewhere along the way we reached a tipping point, a shift in role and relationship that enriched all our lives. Our church grew up. For two decades we’ve walked in sync. Now we’re poised to do it again. We’ll take our next steps toward Christ – together. So, as I always say, “Left foot. Right foot.” I’ll see you this weekend at GCC’s 20th Anniversary, “and we’re on our way.”