“Have you ever stopped to look up at the clouds?”
On a sunset evening after a church function in Houston, TX, a wise person shared this insight. I’m sure at the time my hurried heart thought, “What is this old man talking about? They are just clouds, visible masses of condensed water vapor in the atmosphere.” When entering my vehicle in the church parking lot, I sat in my car and looked towards the sky. You never know what God will use to make you pause.
Recently, I was asked to take an additional role in South Africa. It will allow me to have more ministry oversight in the country. In two weeks, I will fly to Pretoria and meet with the national leadership team, but unfortunately one chair will be empty at the table. Taffy Chifamuna has gone home to be with the Lord. I was with him in November at another leaders’ meeting in Pretoria. Our last conversation was about a ministry outreach idea that wasn’t received well by the team. Two days later I received a message on my phone; he died. Taffy was 45 and left behind a wife and four kids. I paused.
My wife received a message our video store was closing today. Vee’s Video helped my family acclimate to South Africa. Our weekend routine was renting a movie and as a family we laughed, were thrilled or shed tears together. The video clerks shared their lives with us, and we ministered to them. Today, my family entered the disheveled store with shelves emptied, signs down and DVDs stacked high on the counter. My daughter Noel summed it up well, “This feels like when you’re visiting a dying friend in the hospital, and you don’t want this to be your last image of them,” I paused.
In my life, I can see the destination. I charge hard after it. When I obtain the goal, I go after the next ministry endeavor with the same focus. I have mentioned it before that God is doing something different this new year. This last decade God has taught me he is in control. Today I can tell Ron I do stop to look at the clouds; on occasions. There are beautiful cloudscapes in Cape Town. The sunrise colors and sunset hues with Table Mountain, create breathtaking cloud tapestries across the sky. Sometimes my daughter Nala demands I take my phone out to snap a picture of a cloud. God’s handiwork causes me to stand in awe of His beauty and reminds me He is in control. Selah.