Every now and then in life we get a glimpse of the broader picture that we are in: the people who shaped our lives as well as the ones we are pouring into now. This week I reconnected with influential people from my past and honestly, it humbled me. I visited with two of my mentors: Judy, my Sunday school teacher when I was a brand-new Christian in high school, and Jim, the pastor who fought against denominational precedents for women to secure my licensing as a minister. These two invested in me at a time in my development as a human being that would cause even the most hopeful to doubt. But they walked the walk; they demonstrated to me a powerfully grounded and guided life in Christ. The fruit from these two saints, walking faithfully with God into their 80’s, will never be fully known this side of heaven.
In the middle of our dinner, Judy’s iPhone alarm sounded. At eight o’clock every night her family stops to pray for our country. We all joined hands and prayed for a while and then seamlessly continued dinner. Judy delivers food and prayer each week to women she laughingly calls “old people” (she is just a few years younger). Every morning Jim prays over the phone and discusses scripture with his grandson in the military. Jim pastored a church until a stroke reduced his health this year. For both Judy and Jim, their lives are filled with serving the poor, sharing the good news of salvation in Christ, fighting injustice, and re-presenting Jesus in their daily life.
Faithfulness. Consistency. Serving. I know they aren’t very sexy concepts in a time where we are all looking for three easy steps to Zen. Showing up, matters. This walk with God is not a sprint. It is a lifetime of small and large choices. It’s choosing to sit at the feet of Jesus every day to listen and to learn. It’s setting an alarm to pray for our nation, our community, our family. It’s loving the person in front of you, no matter what their politics, orientation, or Covid compliancy. It’s turning away from all our media distractions and actually investing in the two things that are eternal: people and the presence of God.
Here’s my prayer this week, and it’s as raw and vulnerable as can be:
“Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.” (Psalm 25:4-7)
My friend, what decisions are you bringing before God today? Are you walking a faith-filled Christian life? May He show you His ways and teach you His paths. May God bless you and increase your influence. May He shine through your faithfulness and serving. May God bless you and give you peace.
Thank you for reading my blog! If you are looking for resources for yourself, or for a group study, check out my book, Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love and compassion. You can find it at www.MargaretAllen.org or Amazon.