I remember it like it was yesterday, when a new-to-me-speaker posed a question that crawled under my skin and has been itching ever since–
“Are you the kind of person who walks into a room and declares, ‘Here I am!’ or do you walk into the room and say, ‘There you are!’?”
I wasn’t an “all about me” person, but I’m naturally outgoing and comfortable talking to new people, and I know how to work a crowd. My nerves do rattle on the inside, but they’re the energy that fuels confidence and conversation.
It also wasn’t that I didn’t notice other people; but the question forced me to realize I was more concerned about myself than others. Ouch.
Over the past ten years, through unexpected personal deserts and crazy life, I’ve tried to become a There you are! friend, the one who notices what you’re not saying as much as what you do. I’ve challenged myself to notice people in the margins, and in a stroke of serendipity and Divine providence, I’ve wandered into those places myself, learning by experience what it feels like to be ignored, rejected, forgotten, irrelevant and sometimes invisible.
I’ve hated it.
But on the other side of those hard lessons and hurt feelings is what has become a passion of mine, redemptive purpose.
Just as sure as the sun hangs in the sky behind a veil of dark clouds, God is accomplishing His will and His ways even when I can’t see His hand at work.
And when I do gain insight and understanding in the aftermath of pain or heartache? It is astonishing gift and grace to discover beauty among ashes.
Pride and ego were subtle idols of mine. God was kind enough to reveal them to me in a way that would sear an impression on my heart and ultimately change me.
It’s been a long, long while since I’ve attended a Beth Moore Bible study. I forgot how she gets to me, how every study I’ve ever taken will somehow speak a word over me so strong it’s undeniable God had her write it just for me.
It was in the fourth week, day three, on her study of James, when a section started doing its thing…
“Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1)
Beth spoke about “land mines that go with the territory” of teaching –
- The temptation to teach more than we know.
- The capacity to mislead.
- The capacity to be misled.
- The temptation to use the platform for personal agendas or opinions.
And though not exactly in the context of teacher, I sensed these land mines speaking to my life as a writer.
It would seem that the natural progression for a long-term blogger is to write a book. This is the childhood dream of countless blogger-friends. Those of you who’ve followed our site since its inception know many of our regular contributors have gone on to lovely writing careers, with still others to launch their first book in 2015 (so excited!).
Here’s the thing that’s hard for me to admit:
What?? A cliffhanger? Sorta :). Please click to continue reading Not Now Doesn’t Mean Not Ever at incourage.