This has been an interesting week. Or last couple of days anyway. It started Thursday night at the Vision Team meeting for our church. Mike is starting a Leadership Training class, and he asked who would like to do it. A couple of guys raised their hands, and that was it. I was sitting there thinking, I would so like to do this – but…… and a litany of excuses came to mind. So I didn’t raise my hand, but ignored the thought and went home. Later that evening it kept nagging at me, but I just kept dismissing it. I did send Mike an email though expressing interest, and of course my list of excuses. (I'm sure he probably thinks I'm crazy at times....) That was the end of it. Or so I thought. Last night, for some reason, I called up D, and asked her if she wanted to go to Willow Creek. I go there with her occasionally – it’s her church. And it was kind of weird that I instigated our attending. Bill Hybels spoke, and I have never heard him speak before. D was afraid I would be put off by his style, but since it was familiar to the “style” I was raised in, it was ok. His topic was about allowing God to rock our world. Now for those of you that know me, I have spent a year and a half or so being rocked so hard I’ve almost spun off into space. This past summer I withdrew from everything; I wasn’t working, I didn’t go on vacation, I didn’t do anything but lay around and watch DVD’s and read. It was like a healing thing though, just a time to be alone and rest and renew myself. I didn’t do anything stressful, or read anything challenging. As the school year started again I was calm, and stress free and ready to go. So, back to last night. Bill Hybels talked about a lot of things, but the thing that really, really got to me was “God chose you!” Me. He used examples of Saul/Paul and others to explain the point. What it boiled down to in my mind was, if God chose me, who am I to question Him? And the leadership training class came back to my mind. Wham. And still, I was arguing with myself. Then as he closed, after a lot of other very pertinent things that I won't share now, he suggested, that if we were willing, every day for the next month we should pray that God would rock our world. Seriously? Does he know what he's suggesting? Wow. I felt like God was talking directly to me.
After the service I spent a couple hours talking to D over coffee. We went over and over things that were my concerns, and fears regarding the Leadership stuff. Her perspective helped me realize some things about myself – and my talking it through helped show me what my fears were, and where they were coming from. So as I drove home last night, I just decided that if God wants me in this Leadership Training class, it’s something I need to do, end of story. I basically said, OK God - you win. And although it’s so far outside my comfort zone, I clearly feel his direction leading this way. But as for asking God to rock my world – I’m still not so sure I’m up for that again.
So, yes, that was interesting happening number one. The second thing occurred today in church. We were talking about prayer, and we had a good discussion, and learned some new things about prayer, and new ways to make prayer more meaningful. One of the ways we explored was through pictures. Mike passed out a pile of pictures and everyone took one. Just the top one off the pile as they went by. I took my picture, and passed the pile on, and then I looked at my picture and almost gasped out loud.
The picture was of either an African woman, or a Haitian woman and her child. She was emaciated, sitting on a chair, holding an equally hungry child. Their faces were turned toward the camera with huge, pleading eyes. And it broke my heart. First, I was convicted to pray that I would be content with less, so others could have more. Secondly, that God would break my heart where the needy and poor are concerned. Thirdly that I would learn to love people, all people, no matter who they are, and lastly, and the one that really hit me the hardest was – I want to go do something, I want to go to Haiti with people from my church to start making a difference in peoples lives. And I feel very strongly about that. I want to go. I have a passport, I have desire – I just want the chance to serve. All this from a small black and white picture of a mother and her child. It literally took my breath away, that God was so powerfully speaking to me right then. I need to get away by myself and think about this. I need to let God work here. I need to be silent and listen for the still small voice. I’m exhausted, and feel a bit battered. But in a good way. God is still working…..and He can (and actually wants to) use me.