I had the whole next day off work which never happens on a weekend. Brook had made plans for us to go to Snook Haven--a little wilderness country place in Venice. We decided to wake up early, go to church, and then go to Snook Haven. I had it in my mind that we were going to Bayside, this church in Bradenton we have been trying out. He had it in his head we were going to First Christian, the church my parents attend in Venice (that we LOVE by the way). Well after a mix up in times and places we ended up at the later service at First Christian, which neither of us had planned haha!
The 11:00 contemporary service is a newer thing for FCC so there weren't many people there, but we were definitely welcomed with open hearts and smiles. Well, that is until 10 min into the service when an older couple walked in and sat in front of Brook and I. I joked to Brook--"Hey, there's us in 50 years!" and he laughed back (anyone who knows us knows that I can never make it to church on time). During the service "meet and greet" this guy shook hands with, hugged, talked to half the people in the church, and Brook even made a comment about him being a "pimp" with the ladies. Well not 5 more minutes into the service, before the message had even started, this guy was huffing and puffing and saying things just above a whisper like, "who cares!" and other rude comments. We brushed it off at first, later to realize he only got worse.
The verse of study during the sermon was:
1 Thessalonians 1:3 : "We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ."The sermon was based on that verse and questions such as:
"Why are you here?"
"Why do you do what you do?"
"Why do I do the work I do?"
"What motivates you to keep on keepin' on?"Wow! How powerful are those questions? I know that they cross all of our minds, but do we really take the time to examine our lives and figure out why we do what we do? Is it because we have to? Is it because we want to? Or is it inspired by the faith, hope, and love in Jesus Christ?
I challenge you to ask yourselves these questions as we asked ourselves the same questions, because as Socrates once said:
"The unexamined life is not worth living."I started to think about my discouragement from the night before and I asked myself "Why am I server?" "Why do I put up with these rude people for little reward?"
OK, well first came to mind is that I need the income.
Upon examination there was so much more there, and it clicked when the pastor said these word, "Our actions will always reveal what we believe." My actions create a response in my coworkers everyday. Comments like: "you're too nice" "I wonder what it's like to see you mad?" "You're a great worker" "You're a sweetie" and if they do something foul around me they say they feel bad like they are "corrupting me." My actions, admittedly probably not always, but most of the time reveal my belief in Jesus Christ and the power of his love and grace. On the same token God has me talking to and serving hundreds of people every week who see my actions that reveal what I believe. Although I don't always realize it and I may get discouraged from time to time God has me where he wants me to be right now-even if it's not where I think I should be.
Throughout this message this guy in front of us just kept his huffing and puffing and "whispering" rude comments: "Unbelievable," "What kind of prayer is that?" and so on...
Brook and I were shaking by the end of the service we were so offended by this guy. The funny thing is we had laughed about that being us in 50 years just 20 minutes or so earlier. That guy, although he annoyed us beyond belief served as a symbol of what neither of us ever want to become. If I had let those rude people from the night before get to me and prompt rudeness in myself--I would be just as guilty.
I know this was a long post but I think it's really eye opening to take your eyes off of the destination for a while and take a look at the journey you are on. Where are you on your journey and why? There is a reason--the destination will come!
|This is Snook Haven by the way!|