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No More Excuses

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Growing up in Wayzata, MN, my family was always active at St. Phillip the Deacon. My dad sang in the choir and my mom helped out on Altar Guild. The Davidson family of seven rarely missed a Sunday and filled the same pew in front on the right side of the sanctuary, ten feet away from the pulpit where the pastor was going to preach the sermon of the day. I helped as an usher, reader, and played on the church softball team.

My parents and my Grandma Mimi were great influences on my faith. Everyone who came in touch with Grandma Mimi thought they were special. Everyone loved Grandma Mimi and she touched and cared for a lot of lives in her 97 years of life. Two of my siblings, as well as myself, lived with Mimi for some period of time. I witnessed her reading the “Portal of Prayers” devotional booklets every morning and reflecting on the past day and the day to come.

Vickie and I lived in Duluth, MN for three years. During our first winter in Duluth we received 141” of snow. It was an all-time record for Duluth and we did not have a snow blower for a very large driveway! As well that winter we experienced -40 degrees F. In year three, I receive a promotion to move back down to the Twin Cities. We sold our house in Duluth in the fall of 1998 and moved into the Holiday Inn Downtown Duluth for three weeks with two little kids. During our extended stay, we played in the pool a lot. We met the Fautsch family and shared with them that we would be moving to Buffalo on December 1, 1997. They invited us to Zion Lutheran Church and we met Pastors Blair and Folkerds and felt very warm and welcomed.

Worshiping gives me hope. I need to attend church and sing with others. It fills my soul and rights the path of my journey with Jesus. I have been involved with ushering, serving communion, Church Council (President, VP, Personnel) Youth Group, Gospel Choir, softball, making baptismal crosses, and men’s Bible study.

During our dismissal, we say “I will Live, Trust, and Serve Jesus Christ our Lord.” The word Serve always sticks out to me and asks the question, “Am I Serving” or “What can I do to serve.” So many times in life I have been asked to serve or help, and I decline because of lack of confidence, impressions, or internal pressures. It is taking the first step that is the hardest. Once you take the step you learn everything that you were afraid of has no bearing on how you serve.

I was asked by Sherilyn if I would be willing to help out with the video tech position. At first, I was making all kinds of excuses of why I couldn’t do it. Was I really the right person? How much time is this going to take? Am I skilled enough? But the phrase “I will Trust, Live, and Serve” rang in my head. So I agreed and took my first step and all my excuses and fears disappeared.

Much of the position is cutting and pasting the material into the software program. It is helpful to have some understanding of how computers work but not more than one can teach themselves. At times, there are several things going on and you have to learn how to stay calm. And there will be times when things go wrong, and you need to accept / laugh / learn from them and move on. I need to learn to give myself some grace as I know I will make some mistakes and learn from them.

I enjoy getting to know the staff and pastors better. I enjoy contributing my time and energy to the services. I enjoy thinking about and better understanding the gospel and trying to apply it to my life. I enjoy the challenges to solve a problem in a tight time frame. I enjoy my time in a quiet sanctuary preparing for the services and listening to the organist or choirs practice. I enjoy the flexibility to fit the preparation time into my schedule as I travel often during the week.

My faith has grown in the area of acceptance of others and refraining from judgment. I often ask myself “What would Jesus Do”. The answer to most of my questions is he would accept those that we often shed/judge/dismiss. He would wash their feet, cloth and feed them, and invite them to follow.

Vickie and I have been married for 27 years and have 2 children Jacob (25) and Malorie (23). Jake graduated from SDSU Brookings, SD with a mechanical engineering degree. He is employed by Polaris Industries. Malorie graduated from UMD with an Elementary and Special Education degree. She is looking for her first teaching position. Vickie works in the BHS activities office.

by Mark Davidson

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