Monday, April 24, 2017

Who is this all about?

A couple of months ago, in the midst of seeking God in this crazy season of life, I had been praying about the next step.  And then, it arrived.

I received an unexpected email from the coordinator of the women's spring church retreat.  She presented a need for cabin leaders at the event.  Would I consider being one?

I moved onto the next email, hoping somehow it would disappear, buried in my inbox.

I was not even sure I wanted to GO on the retreat.  But being a cabin leader?  Ahhhh... a dozen immediate excuses lined up in my mind. Outside of my skill set.  Not on my list of gifts.  Not on my life.

I am willing to serve and support in any capacity, fill any need behind the scenes.  Serve?  Sure.  Lead?  Off my radar. And so, this was an easy request for this introvert to pass on to another woman more outgoing, one who bears the extrovert's dream of directing the troops, someone who loves to lead and be in control, more gifted than I, organized and hospitable.

The tsunami wave of excuses gave me pause.  Whenever that surge of justifications floods my thoughts, I know that I am in a losing battle.

God doesn't nag.  God doesn't harangue.  Those are the tools of the adversary.  But God....God continued to lay the opportunity before me.  "Consider this."  

What if....He really wanted me to do this?

I have seen too much to question God in this.  I have witnessed, I have experienced that even one little step of obedience impacts lives we never would have expected.  God opens up something different, not just a new door, but deepens my heart and vision right where I am.

God never operates in singular dimensions.

Last year, a good friend pushed aside my reluctance and signed me up for her cabin at the retreat.  I discovered divine appointments there that I would have missed that have enriched my life and enlarged my understanding of God.

And so, when I received that email, I found myself for a couple of weeks, skirting around that request, like walking around a pair of boots left in the hallway, out of place and gently drawing my attention to "what are you going to do about this?"

As I often pray, "LORD, give me peace, or give me direction."

I accepted the challenge, and God gave me both.

...until the middle of last night.

I awoke when our two-year-old granddaughter cried out from the room down the hall.  She turned over and went back to sleep.  But I didn't.  And all the anxieties about being a "leader" this coming weekend came out of the woodwork.

But before they could gain a stranglehold, I asked God again for peace and direction.

And I felt like God was asking, "Who is this all about?"

"Would you do this for Me?"   

God has placed on my path an opportunity, a need, divine appointments, deep encounters that I cannot possibly fathom, something beyond my own strength, that may not be about me at all.  And probably isn't.

Following God is rarely convenient or comfortable.  The issue is not the outcome or even my lack of abilities, but my own willingness to love Him back.

In reading Scripture this morning, a little piece of a verse stood out to me as if highlighted in neon orange, "and the leader as one who serves... I am among you as One who serves." (Luke 22. 26-27)

It is true that there are many good things that I can do,
         but there is no substitute for His call.
Only one thing is needful:
      Have I followed the LORD in this?

This is not about leading at all, but serving.
Not about being successful in the outcome,
                    but being faithful in the doing.
Not about me at all,
        but all about Him.

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