Life – or Mere Existence? There’s a Difference

2 05 2013

Every day we are invited to real life. Not mere existence, but to be a part of something grand – something way beyond ourselves.

If I live my life just for me – what I want, what I like, where I want to go, and what I want to do – it can become uninteresting in a hurry. Oh, not because I’m a boring person. I have many hobbies. The word  “boring” is not in my vocabulary…unless you make me do the same task endlessly day after day. I am not a good assembly line worker.

The simple fact is that when I make the universe revolve around me, it’s not all that interesting.

What if I were to believe that Jesus lives in me – I mean really believe it? That I am, in fact, His ambassador? That my function is to bring reconciliation between people and God?

When I went shopping, it would cease to be just about me, but I’d be alert. Lord, who is it? Where are they? I know You want to touch someone today, to love on them, to encourage or inspire them.

Guess what? He’d show me the person for whom I’d been sent.

What if I believed that I was merely the steward of God’s money? That it didn’t really belong to me; but that He asked me to hold it for Him and spend or give it as He desired?

Sure, I might not have as much stuff; but I’ve discovered that the more stuff I have, more time is required to care for these “necessities.” I end up moving some of these items from one cupboard to another, from one room to another, dusting, washing, blah, blah, blah. It’s amazing how little time it takes to discover that I really didn’t need that “must have” gadget  once I’ve spent the money and brought it home.

What if He hands me money so I can spread it around to those who are not so good at money management? Or give it to those who have no idea that there is a God who loves them and longs to give them more than a few bucks?

What if I believed that Divine Appointments were awaiting me every day, wherever I went? That God chose me to interact with them?

Would life be more than a mere existence then? Would I go to bed at night feeling like I had purpose?

I wish I remembered this more often, but when I do and am watching what’s going on around me, I find someone who needs to hear that they are loved, cared for, that they matter.

There is rarely a week that goes by without one of these opportunities. There is an apt word, a bit of encouragement, an opportunity to pay what the person in front of me lacks for their purchase (“Jesus gives me so much. He would like me to share His money with you!”). Sometimes it takes more than a few minutes. In some instances it’s been 45 minutes or an hour. What an amazing time I had, though.

The appointment that stands out the most happened when we were in Hawaii.

My husband is fond of “shoulder-to-shoulder” companionship. As a result, we can drive for hours without him saying a word…and he’s happy as a clam. Me? I’ve got 25,000 words to use up every day. I like to talk – and not idle chit-chat. I love conversations that challenge what I believe and ones that make me think.

We were on day 4 of our trip, and had said very little. My “word” bank was backed up – I probably had about 95,000 of them screaming to get out! I silently asked Jesus to help me.

Lord, I need someone to talk to. I’m going to lose my mind if You don’t help me. 

A little while later, we came upon a young man walking in the rain. He looked to be about the age of one of my sons. I’d like to think someone would pick him up if he looked like a drowned rat. On a whim, I asked, “Can we give him a ride? He can’t be going far.”

To my delight, Wendel pulled over and we offered to give the guy a lift.

“Where you headed?” We asked.

“I was going to the Hari Krishna spaghetti feed in Hilo,” he replied.

We introduced ourselves, then asked his name.

“My name is Elyssia,” he cooed dreamily. Then he mumbled a bunch of spiritual-sounding stuff that didn’t make sense.

The short of it is that he asked if he could bum with us for the day. I was pleased and surprised when my husband agreed.

Because we always listened to Firefighters for Christ CDs when we traveled, that’s what he heard. It was mostly music, but we also played a couple of sermons. We asked questions about where he was from, how he’d ended up in Hawaii, and had some cool spiritual conversations. Commenting on the peace he sensed with us, he curled up on the front seat and took an hour-long nap!

When we dropped him off at 10:00 that night, I gave him a hug, some food and money. (He was a transient, earning money for a few necessities by picking fruit for the islanders. the piece of jerky we’d given him earlier took almost a half hour to eat – one shred at a time! It was the first meat he’d had in two weeks.) Looking into his eyes, I said, “You need to find out what your real name means. Jesus has a purpose and a plan for your life. The answers you are seeking will not be found in Hari Krishna, Buddha, or any of those other dead guys. You will find truth when you seek for the living Jesus.” 

“My name?” He asked, then stated, “My name is Nathan. It means gift of God.”

Whoa.  He certainly was my gift that day – an answer to the prayer I’d breathed that morning!

These opportunities are such gifts from the Lord. At the end of the day, there is such a sense of fulfillment, of having a reason to live. When I find myself getting depressed or asking, “why am I here,” all I have to do is grab my car keys and ask the Lord, “Where shall we go?” I love it!

How about you? Ever had a “Divine Appointment?” Do share!

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9 responses

2 05 2013
Greg Poppy

This reminds of The Great Treasure Hunt by Kevin Dedmon. My wife and some of her friends started a group with all of our children, called Kids for Christ. The ladies would do different charitable or outreach activities with the kids. One of them was a treasure hunt. While it is simply asking God to highlight different people to you, a treasure hunt allows for a group to discover God’s voice. The children were asked to think of cars, colors, clothes, injuries, etc. One would think of a white car, another a blue shirt, and a third would hear the word knee. We took the kids to UT in Austin, and they saw a white car and began looking for other treasure on their list. When they found someone wearing a blue shirt, they would ask if they had a knee injury, and if not, they would ask if they needed prayer. It was cool to witness our 2, 3, 4, 7 & 8-year-old children ask complete strangers if they needed prayer. It’s neat to hear of others doing this. BTW do you still live in Hawaii?

3 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

Great idea. As a kid I was told that God spoke to us, but was given no “training” in what that might look like. I thought it was merely through His Word. It wasn’t until about 30 years later that I discovered that He really “talks” to us – specifically to us, and is very creative in how He does it. Sometimes it’s spoken directly into my mind, sometimes through others, sometimes through circumstances or objects around me, and often it’s hind sight as He reveals what He was teaching me through an experience I had.

Thank you for teaching the young ones how to hear. I know too many other adults who don’t know how to discern when God is speaking to them. Because they’re adults, they think some of the things I report are made up and silly. I guess they’re free to have their opinion. I don’t want to trade what I have for what they have!

I haven’t ever lived in Hawaii, sadly. My oldest son was stationed at Hickam on Oahu for four years. I was blessed to get to visit them several times. My husband and I have vacationed on the other islands as well – the Big Island, Kauai and Maui. Maui is by far my favorite…but you can have the Road to Hana!

If you haven’t heard Wendell Warrington’s CD, you should. My favorite song by him is “A Few More Drops.” They sold it in the music store in Lahaina. They’re hymns and spiritual songs done in Hawaiian. He’s in heaven now. Beautiful music – so relaxing and refreshing.

God bless you as you serve the people of Hawaii. May He grant you a great harvest.

2 05 2013
Kari Anne Dorstad

Thank you for your encouragement through friendship bible study and your writings. You have inspired me to see that everything is about Jesus.

2 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

Yay, ’cause it’s all about Jesus!

2 05 2013
inthepottershands988

What an incredible story! It reminds me to be open to where ever the Lord wants to lead me and to whomever He wants to lead into my path. I pray that I am that sensitive to His Spirit so that I can minister to complete strangers.

2 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

This was just one of dozens of times we were blessed to be in the right place in the right time. Life with Jesus is such an adventure!
\ 🙂 /

2 05 2013
annabachinsky

Wow. That is so incredible! Once we become available to God for use He will send all kinds of divine appointments our way! I’m praying for mine right now 🙂 thank you for sharing this. Be blessed!

2 05 2013
lessonsbyheart

Life with Jesus is such an adventure. This was only one of many we’ve experienced.

Report back, k? It may be something as simple as a dejected little old lady sitting on a bench in K-Mart. A smile and a held hand and “Jesus loves you,” can totally change someone’s day – maybe even their life!

2 05 2013
annabachinsky

Will do! 🙂

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