Thank you Nike.
Most folks will read the title of this post and immediately think of Nike. Sports figures will come to mind, perhaps even a Gatorade ad will flash before your mind. Truth be told, it is the simple message of obedience that I am referring to.
As I go about my days, the Holy Spirit prompts me to say hello to strangers, compliment an older woman's pretty silver hair or hold the door for the person behind me. These acts of obedience feel more like good manners rather than obedience, so I easily discount them. Then... prompted by a friend (thanks Colleen) we decided to put our cell phones away in the check out line at the grocery store and open our eyes up to seeing what God was up to. The result has been so fun. I have had great conversations with complete strangers and always walk away with a smile on my face. And guess what? most of the folks I speak with... look nothing like me :)
By simply asking God "Who do You want to bless through me"? I have been used by the Almighty. So check this out. I met a women whose son plays lacrosse with my boys. Recenly when I saw her, she was very heavy hearted. Her oldest is graduating from the Army boot camp soon and I had inquired how he was doing. She proceeded to explain that although it is hard, the most difficult part has been the lack of support from both his friends not writing as promised, and painful comments from folks who find out that her son is in the service. (Her middle son is enlisting in the Marines very soon). My heart ached as she told me the awful things that people say to her.
Two days later, I felt God speak to me. Not audibly mind you, but in my spirit. Very clearly He asked me to write an email to a few folks asking them to reach out to this new soldier and his parents. The request felt odd. The questions started running through my mind... "What if I embarrass the family"? "What if people think I am crazy or pushy"? "What if no one writes"? I ignored the dumb thoughts and proceeded to ask for help. This family received beautiful responses - tangible letters to give to her son. A prayer shawl hand made by ladies the mom will never meet. Letters from recent vets to veterans who served in WWII.
What if I would've ignored it? What if I just promised to pray? What if.... I did nothing? It would have been easy to ignore the idea. I am grateful I did not.
A few months ago, God gave me another idea. A ladies mentoring idea. I presented it to my lead pastor and a couple of trusted women. The idea is moving forward. I am not ready to unpack it here, but I will in due time. My point in mentioning it? It could totally be a bust idea. It could prove to be a lot of work for no pay. (Side note: I never get compensated for my obedience... well, not monetarily). I could look like a babbling idiot.
Just do it, Tracy.
I Peter 4:11 tells me "If anyone (like you, Tracy) serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things, God may be praised through Jesus Christ".
Every day I am faced, like you, with decisions and choices to serve myself over others. My comfort, my agenda, my to do list, my children, my want list... By the end of my life, I hope God blesses me with my dream home, with a bunch of grand-babies, happily married sons, a life free of medicine to help me function and all sorts of materialistic things... But if He blesses me by allowing me to serve a lost generation, I will be blessed beyond measure.
Just gonna keep doing it. If I fail or screw up or make a fool of myself? That'd be okay and it will make a great story one day.
As we enter the days closer to the celebrating Christ's birth - I challenge you to step out in faith and be the change you want to see. Odds are good... God is waiting for you to say yes to His Holy Spirit which is how He manifests His glory... He gives us a foretaste of heaven... He communicates His plans through His Spirit. I challenge you to quiet your spirit and say yes this season... just do it and may God richly bless you .