Reflections are my specialty. My dad, when I was growing up, would say to me regularly, “You think too much.” Looking back, thinking (pause for chuckle), I don’t know what he was complaining about. Sure, he was male, still is, by the way, and a lot of times guys aren’t so wrapped up in feelings and emotions and the dreaded conversations that flow along with those, but I don’t know how to “not think.”
I catch myself thinking about things and ideas that many do not. Many a time, I have said, “Know what I mean?” only to be faced with a look of sheer terror. Ok, maybe “sheer terror” is a bit of a stretch. For example, I have wondered what would happen if all Christians had to wear one of those zip-up, faceless suits, you know the ones that come in all different colors and you’ll see them at various sporting events? Would we be more bold? Or would we still be self-conscious, scared silly that someone might find out who we were behind the spandex, or whatever those things are made of?
What stops us from being who Christ called us to be? How in the world do we expect to make a change in this lifetime if we won’t even say “GOD bless you!” when someone sneezes or hold a door for someone or help an older woman to her car with her groceries?
On the flip side, how do we live boldly? How are we so daring that people take note of it? Would it take wearing a neon suit to get people’s attention for Jesus? Do we have to wear a T-shirt with some brand name “Christianized” to let people know who we are? Is living it enough? How do we let others know our beliefs? Do we have to publicly proclaim on a sturdy box with a cardboard sign that God heals and saves? Can we do this quietly? If so, why would we want to do so quietly?
I hope this serves as a challenge to evaluate and reevaluate what you believe and how you portray it to others. My prayer tonight is for all the “Stephen’s” (Acts 7) out there who are truly making a difference in the lives of others.
Distracted. Literally, as I am in the middle of typing that word, I have a box that pops up, asking me if I would like to download blah-be-dee-blah. Take a look around and take note of all the distractions that surround you today. See if anyone looks you in the eye, smiles, and says hello. If in fact, you do see anyone do this, take inventory of your feelings about it.
This is such a rare occurrence that after almost being bumped or ran over a few times, either by distracted pedestrian-texters or drivers, it got me to reflecting. A few short years ago, when I was a child (grin), I noticed that people who did not smile and say hi were out of the norm. Nowadays it’s the opposite. (eek, I’m not that young…I use terms like “nowadays;” next thing you know I’ll be telling stories of how someone’s “givin’ me the business.”) I used to notice how many people were on the phone while driving and now it’s easier to count how many are not.
I saw a semi-driver reading and writing, filling out some sort of paperwork with a cup of joe in his other hand. I’m not sure of how much that particular vehicle weighs, but I’m sure it needs someone to steer the wheel. After all, if autopilot was one of the features, he’d be out of a job. A woman screeched in front of me in the grocery store parking lot yesterday with a cigarette in one hand, (no condemnation from me…I inhaled chemical after stinky chemical for years) a phone in the other, while simultaneously trying to steer that pesky 2-ton vehicle. Driving is an afterthought anymore, just like people are. This is not how it should be!
Don’t let people become a distraction for you! People are the very reason Jesus gave His life. We are to show the love of God, not show God how many things we can do at once without killing someone! We are to radiate God’s goodness and we can’t do that if we’re trying to balance three or four tasks at once. That’s why distraction is key in the war against us as believers. If we are distracted long enough, we completely forget about our mission while we’re here on this earth. God asks for our time…our most precious of gifts…our precious, undistracted time.
How do you take the compassion you felt and turn it into a message to relay to people who weren’t there? For the people who didn’t get to go…for those who are scared, physically unable, financially incapable…what are we supposed to say? How is it that we can convey that we saw the power of God Himself…not felt a chill, not prayed a prayer then knew an answer, FELT, HEARD, SAW, TASTED, BECAME ENVELOPED IN the POWER OF GOD. He was not only there, but He inhabited the praises of His people just like He said He would. He loved His people just like He said He was going to. He healed them, just like He used to, in the olden days! He showed His abilities after we asked, JUST like His Word said!!! How exciting!! How do we convey THAT message to anyone who didn’t experience it? To those who believe? To those who don’t believe? I think it’s equally difficult, no matter what group you’re speaking to.
I saw people healed of deafness, bad shoulders, bum knees, blindness, addictions…People who weren’t sure of where they were supposed to go, what they should do, how they should pray, who they should turn to…Answers were given; but only after we asked for them. Some like to be in that valley. After all, what would we do without our drama? We sought God’s face and His healing hand. And the rest of the story is WE FOUND IT. He showed up!!!! How do you come down from a high like that? The truth? Easily. It’s so easy to come back to the humdrum…the laundry, the dishes, pass by the man on the street begging for a dollar, the woman with car trouble. I find myself continually reminding myself to ask God to show His face again. After you’ve experienced that once, it’s a new addiction. You want more. I truly believe that’s part of God’s amazing plan—to show people what He can truly do…to revive them, to revive the fire, to fan the flames so that they reach not only the person next to you, but spread from anyone who speaks to you, then to each and every person who speaks to them, a chain of fire!
1 Chronicles 16:9—Sing unto Him, sing psalms unto Him, talk ye of all His wondrous works.