Saturday, October 14, 2006

Before a Legacy There Is a Beginning

Something special happened 271 years ago today. On October 14, 1735 John Wesley wrote his first entry in his Journal. Read his beginning thoughts and observations below:

Mr. Benjamin Ingham, of Queen College, Oxford; Mr. Charles Delamotte, son of a merchant, in London, who had offered himself some days before; my brother, Charles Wesley, and myself, took boat for Gravesend, in order to embark for Georgia.

Our end in leaving our native country was not to avoid want (God having given us plenty of temporal blessings) nor to gain the dung or dross of riches or honor; but singly this--to save our souls; to live wholly to the glory of God. In the afternoon we found the 'Simmonds' off Gravesend and immediately went on board.
This was to be a momentous occasion for two reasons:

1. He had no idea how much of a failure he would be as a missionary to Georgia (later to become the U.S. state).

2. He had no idea that people still would be talking about him 271 years later.

Life is open-ended for us. We can try to guide our way through life but, in the end, many things are beyond our comprehension or control. Before he was to become the England shaking reformer John Wesley had to become the America fleeing failure.

For many years now my mother has had a verse of Scripture kept stuck to her refrigerator:
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. (Pro 19:21 ESV)
At different times I've pondered those words silently as I stood in front of the fridge. Perhaps they are more true than I care to admit.

But they are true.