A Country Church Revival

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

We just got home from the last night of our revival at Goshen. How many of your churches still have revivals? I’ll guess they aren’t like the revivals of old. I’ve been told of two week revivals, but since I’ve been faithfully attending Goshen, revivals started on Monday with the evangelist and went through the next Sunday. And we never skipped Saturday night. But then things started to change. People got busy with five hundred and six things and revival meetings ended up ranking about five hundred and seven. So churches around here started having three or four day revivals. Some churches have a different speaker every night. Some churches tried mid-day meetings and offered to feed the comers lunch. We tried having supper before services a few years back. We had ice cream and cookies tonight because we’re an “eating meeting” church.

But you know what? It’s better when people call us a “praying” church. Or a “spirit led” church. That’s what Br. Fred, our pastor, wanted for us this revival. He wanted it to be a spiritual renewal time, and it may have been for most of us. There were no decisions at the altar, but surely there were many decisions of the heart. If any of us step closer to the purpose the Lord has for our lives, then we can claim a spiritual revival.

But a revival such as they had of old? I don’t think we had that. Nobody suggested keeping the meetings going another night. I’ve heard of revival meetings that continued on for weeks and months. People didn’t want to stop meeting. They weren’t tired of hearing the gospel. Do you think we’re tired of hearing the gospel now? Or are we just concerned about getting back to those other five hundred and six things we need to do?

I came across a quote a few years ago that I often repeat to myself. As usual, I had to go out on the net to get it exactly right. I remember things in general terms and I’m not too good at word for word quotes. But I found it. I remembered it was Thoreau which helped in my search. So here it is.

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” …Henry David Thoreau

That’s a question I ask myself often when I seem to be spinning in place, so busy I don’t have time to think or get half what I think I need to get done finished. I have to remind myself to be busy about the right things when I’m writing or when it comes to my family. A church can be the same. Busy with a thousand activities, but we need to be busy about what the Lord wants us to be busy about. And realizing that can be hard.

Gee, guys, I didn’t aim to preach at you, but looks like I might have. I promise to find something funny for next Wednesday. Talk to you Saturday or Sunday. I’ll tell you how things go at the Joseph-Beth Bookstore’s booksigning with Virginia Smith. We had been planning to do some speaking about our books, but J-Beth’s people thought we weren’t. So now I don’t know if we are or we aren’t. If you come to hear talking, we’ll do the talking one on one. How about that? Hope to see some of you there.