I’ve heard that phrase my whole life. I’ll never forget the first time I realized how true it was. I must’ve been 11 or 12. Our church was heading to Carowinds for what would be my first trip around those twists, loops, and hills at breathtaking speeds. I can still remember lying awake, tossing and turning in eager anticipation, barely sleeping a wink that night. The next day was simply a blur. The fun went by as fast as the very roller coasters I hopped on for the first time that day.
Well, time’s been flying again! One year ago this week, I stood before Pleasant Garden Baptist Church to preach in view of a call. Three sermons that morning later, I was called by a 99% vote, and we hit the ground running.
Like those roller coaster rides decades ago, the next 12 months have flown! Week of Wonder (aka VBS on steroids), children’s camp, a transition overlapping with retiring Pastor Michael Barrett, our 85th Homecoming Celebration, Pastor Mike’s retirement, over $100,000 committed to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, a new year, a new part-time hire, a student pastor leaving to become a lead pastor, and a search process for his replacement would be just a few of the “big rides” marking my first 12 months. In between these fast twists and turns, we would sprinkle into all the excitement a few short conferences, visits, trainings, finance meetings, personnel meetings, pastoral care, counseling sessions, a few different sermon series, my first Christmas Sunday preaching (and my first Easter), staff meetings, prayer times, and a few trips to rest and reflect before jumping back in line for the next big ride.
It’s quite hard for me to believe it’s been a year already! It seems like just yesterday the search committee gathered around me to pray a little before 8:00 am on June 24, 2018, before I would preach my trial sermon that Sunday. Like the first time my stomach flipped in nervous anticipation as I felt the slow, clicking lurch of the roller coaster train climbing the first hill at Carowinds so many years ago, I can still feel my stomach doing flips during that prayer as I eagerly anticipated walking out to preach. And well, just about like that ride was over in what felt like seconds the first time I bounced around those roller coaster tracks, this past year buzzed by too.
But hey, that’s just a reminder: time really does fly when you’re having fun!