Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sharing My Life (04/25/10): Starting Small

            Last Friday I watched The Blindside with Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw.  It is a really good movie to watch as a family and tells the true story of a suburban mother forming a mutually beneficial friendship with an inner-city youth, which culminates in him becoming a pro-football player. There were many powerful and touching aspects of the movie and the one that really spoke to me was how the relationship between mother and the inner city young man grew.  

            Leigh Anne Tuohy, played by Sandra Bullock, did not start out with the intent to start a movement or ministry; she just saw a need, had the desire to help and followed her heart. Even though she had no idea where it would go or what would come next, she stepped out in faith. Yes, many of the main characters in the film are Christian, though I think its message is pretty universal. It was not her original intention to bring Michael Oher, the young man, into her home, help him become a better student and man, and motivate him to go to college and then to the NFL; that all came into the picture gradually. I think if she had gone into it all with that motivation from the get go, she would not have made the same impact.

            In my experience, our walk with God works much the same way. We have no idea where it is all headed or who we will ultimately become in the end. Perhaps it is better that way. I once asked God to show me the plan He had for my life. In reply, He said, “If I showed you the way, you would simply follow the path. Instead, I have chosen to show Myself to you and ask you to follow Me.” Do not get the wrong idea, that was one of the few times He has ever spoken to me that clearly ;-)

            I do believe God has a plan and is constantly at work in our lives brining it into fulfillment.  We are not meant to know it all beforehand. I am not even sure I could comprehend it all if I did. Instead, God moves in our hearts like He moved in Leigh’s heart.  He shows us a need, gives us a desire in our heart and asks us to step out in faith.

            One way I have seen this work out in my own life is with a family I have grown close to.  I first met them back when I was living in Saint Cloud, working at the VA there and attending 2:42 Church. They had recently left a very legalistic church and had come to 2:42 in search of healing fellowship. As time progressed, I befriended them and was able to help them through their healing, especially as 2:42 broke up. Even when I moved back to the Cities to pursue work as a chaplain, I still kept in contact with them. Recently, the father of the family fell and broke his ankle.  The past few weekends, as studies allowed, I went up to St. Cloud and visited with them. I talked with the parents and played with the children. It was a great time for all. As I was with them and even now I can feel the warmth of family, love and fellowship. That is what relationships in God’s kingdom are all about.

            We do not have to be strategic in all that we do for God or have everything all planned out from the beginning. All He asks from us is the simple faith it takes to see a need, listen to the desires of our heart and follow Him. The rest will become clear in time, as we need to know and can handle it. Even now, God may be speaking to you, showing you a need, tugging at a desire in your heart and simply saying, “Follow Me!”

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