Before I write this week's post, I must give a written THANK YOU to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, for His providence. This week has been long and has had some tough moments, but I have to remember to "count it all joy!" During weeks like this, when I am running from here to there, trying to squeeze in time for normal duties like cooking dinner, and straightening up the living room, I fear that I will not have a blog to post. When life moves fast, it often doesn't pause long enough for me to reflect and write something worth your time. BUT, God is faithful, and even in the busyness of life, He has given me something to share.
One of our elementary schools has recently been equipped with solar panels, and will become 100% solar-powered. The Principal of the school asked me to assist with developing an agenda for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to "unveil" the solar panels. Due to my assistance, (and maybe because I am the District's Science support person) I was asked to say a few words this past Friday. I am generally not short on words...but I am short on words to be spoken to a large pubic gathering. I was nervous, but I tried not to let it show. I suggested that the students write down why we need the sun on a little paper sun cutout to bring to the assembly. I would have a few kids stand and share their thoughts on why we need the sun. After a few introductory comments, I asked a child on the front row to show his sun, and tell what he wrote. I held the mic so that everyone could hear him. He said, "The sun gives us light." Everyone applauded. I went to another child seated on the front, she stood, spoke into the mic, "The sun gives us light." The audience applauded again. Now, hoping to find a child who might say something a little different, I walked down the line until I noticed a child with a little more written on his paper sun. I asked him to stand and tell us why we need the sun. He stood, faced the crowd and said, "We need the sun because it give us light and energy!" He continued with feeling excitement, "We need the sun because it gives the whole earth life! We should appreciate the sun for everything it does for us. We should go outside right now and enjoy the sun, we don't have to wait until we go to the beach, we can enjoy the sun right now! We should all love the sun!" Whoa! I was blown away! This child received applause and a standing ovation. How would anyone follow those words, spoken by an 8 year-old?
I think I smiled through the rest of the ceremony. Not because of the solar panels, and not because of anything I said, but it gave me such joy that this child seized the moment to shine. He totally went off-script and spoke into that mic like a champ. I don't know if he was imitating someone he had seen speak before, or if he had always wanted to speak to a crowd, or if he always wanted to speak into a real microphone. I don't even know his name. But he certainly took advantage of the opportunity he was given.
Will you be ready when the opportunity presents? Ann Landers once said, "Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them." If we don't recognize and take advantage of our opportunities we may live with regret--which like worry, doesn't change anything. Sometimes we say we are waiting on God, but maybe God is waiting on us. I've heard a story about a man stranded during a flood. He was praying that God would rescue him. Three different people came by offering to help. He refused each because he was waiting on God. He died in the flood. Once he was in Heaven, he asked God why He hadn't rescued him. God said, "I sent you an inner tube, boat, and a helicopter, but you didn't take them." We don't know how God will answer our prayers, but He does answer. The question is, will we recognize the answer? Will we seize our God-given opportunities?
In fact, each day is an opportunity! Each day God gives us in an opportunity to use our gifts and talents in service for His kingdom. Paul tells us in Romans 12:6-8 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." As opportunities present we must be ready to serve, to teach, to encourage. We can each take a lesson from an 8 year-old's, mini-sermon about the sun. "Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
AMEN! I hope this message is a blessing to your life!
Copyright 2018 Kimberly Griffith Anderson
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If you like this style of writing, you will enjoy Turn North: A 30-Day Devotional and Journal written by the author of this blog.