Hi friends. Sorry I neglected my blog for so many days; I didn't expect that being a group leader for our church's Vacation Bible School would be as consuming and exhausting as it was. I knew the hours and physical demand would be demanding, but I totally underestimated how tiring it would be to stay emotionally and spiritually attuned as best I could to ten children for five days. Giving them my all was literally what happened. I gave, and then ran out of steam by the week's end!
On Saturday, my body just wanted to shut down and sleep for like three days. But since I couldn't do that, I just took a nap and moved on.
Now, on Friday we leave for vacation. I'm not telling you to where because you may be a little bitter or envious, like one friend admitted. Just know that my parents are taking us, and that my blessed in-laws are watching my kids and I will be having a completely lovely time with all grown-ups for about 10 days.
So I'm saying Hi and Goodbye all at once. It's just the way it is right now.
But I have some thoughts to share first. Tonight I've been thinking about different ways we are important to others. It's a given that I'm an important character to certain people: my kids, my husband, my friends...those would be my easy answers. I'm not talking about that kind of important. I'm talking about the times you want to be important to someone, and you're not really sure you are.
If you think about it, I'm sure you can pinpoint a relationship or circumstance or job where you strive to be an important character, hoping so badly to be useful or needed. Recently, I witnessed someone else striving so hard to be important in my life when she already was, and just didn't know it. This kind of striving is not hard to find; everyone wants to be needed.
Then tonight, I spoke to a friend about a situation where she was used by God totally unexpectedly in another person's life. A stranger's life, who happened to be a pretty, 18 year old girl, walking a cat on a leash, and apparently living under a bridge in our town.
My friend wasn't trying at all to be useful, and was in the middle of some errands. But God stepped in and used her anyway, and not in a small way. It's as if she was going about her business, and God said, "Right now, YOU are important! I have a job for you."
So I'm juggling these two contrasting ways to be. Which do I want to be? The person who is asserting my wonderfulness into someone else's life assuming it is for their benefit (you know, because I'm such a big deal)? Or the person who is simply acknowledging that God is in charge of all things, and open to divine appointments where I am fully useful to Him (which equals remembering that He's the big deal)? That's easy.
I am certain of my answer right now because I just worked at VBS. I thought I was just going to oversee a group of 2nd and 3rd graders. I thought I may get a chance to be an important character to one of them. I thought I may find some opportunities to be useful. I may find them.
But it was not like that at all. God knew where the opportunities were going to be, and he is the one who placed Importance on me. Every moment I was with my group, God gave me this intense burden for the girls. My heart even felt an urgency in my job. God placed Importance on me in such a way that I served that group with a holy fear. I am not dramatizing how it felt, here. The girls were telling me things about their personal lives that needed truth and love. Some of their lives were already desperate, and they were only seven years old. I interpreted things that were being said in the talks and the songs so that they could understand God's love and who He was. We talked about forgiveness, prayer, salvation, and how we need to share the truth about God with others. Of course, it was mostly standard VBS lessons, but God showed me that many of the girls are not hearing any of the truth anywhere else. I didn't expect it, but God made me feel so important.
His jobs for us are often adventures we don't expect. I know this is so John Eldredge-y to say (see my list to the right on books that have changed me if you aren't familiar with this guy), but often, God's assignments do come with urgency attached. The world is in a desperate state. People need rescuing. Homeless 18 year-olds, scared, shy 7 year-olds, and me. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow, I'll need a Savior. When all is said and done, God employs us and blesses us with that feeling of importance in order to show the world how important He really is.
Jesus exemplified the attitude I want when he prayed, "I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do." (John 17:4) He - Jesus himself - never forgot that it was God who is the biggest deal ever.
Wonder what my next assignment will be? I promise I'll let you know.