Then a series of events happened and my choice was clear. I am going to blog about two challenges I'm making to myself, as if I didn't have enough resolutions on my plate.
First, let me start with a story. One of my family's longtime friends came over Thanksgiving weekend to watch a big football game. Since my mom was busy in the kitchen, I talked a lot with her friend. This friend told me a story about how she'd discovered that her college roommate's daughter went to college with me. When she made the connection, my college friend and classmate revealed that I had played an integral role in rededicating her life to Christ.
I couldn't remember this encounter for the life of me. We'd never prayed together, that I could remember. And I'm not a particularly proselytizing kind of girl -- nothing against it, just not my cup of tea, unless God makes it abundantly clear that I'm supposed to talk to someone. It's happened before, but as far as I could recall, He didn't strike a lightning bolt out of the sky to prompt me to set this girl straight. All I could remember is us cutting up in class, talking about her shoe obsession, favorite books, boys, her horse, etc.
As it turns out, it was an offhand comment I made in class, maybe even (dare I say?) a sarcastic quip, that challenged her and sparked a tiny flame inside of her heart. I had no idea. And it wasn't even my intention, as bad as that sounds. But hearing about it, learning that I had impacted someone's life in such a way, in turn, inspired me. Yet another aspect of God's power has been revealed to me, that he can take words and shape them in a way that fits what some needs to hear perfectly -- in a way that we could never fathom doing.
My first challenge is to be more vocal about telling people when they have influenced me: spiritually, physically, emotionally -- in whatever way.
I have received lots of encouragement this week (Like you, Michelle Meisner!), some from good friends, some from people I've never met in person. I'm greatly appreciative and know for certain that those words are God becoming tangible on this earth.
What would happen if for every person who made my day, I continued that act of kindness and didn't let it only live in my admiration and gratefulness and benefit, but carried it on to give another that incomparable sense of loveliness, worthiness, talent, or value?
My second challenge is to pay tokens of love and kindness forward and to continue to pray that God will use my words and actions to uplift and accomplish. I Corinthian 13 says that love keeps no record of wrongs. But what if it kept a record of rights, not with the motivation that every act of kindness has to be repaid OR ELSE...