|February 23, 2012|
Like I said before, Mark 6 isn't mainly about rest or food. It's about the Gospel. It's about learning how to respond when interruptions come.
Today is the part where I tell you where these truths found ME. I've been to God's Word. I've journaled and prayed my way through this theme that God is bringing to my attention. And like He almost always does, He keeps bringing it up. Kaycee wrote about rest when she linked up with Renee. Matthias Media shared a post about One-To-One ministry on their FB page. As I was cooking dinner (brats, alfredo, and salad) for my family last night, I had my iPod set to shuffle and this sermon by Carl Medearis came on. I thought I was done learning what I had to learn from Mark 6, but I was WRONG.
I was in the mood for music, but something about Medearis's message sucked me in. I didn't hit the skip button. I listened and before I knew it, I was REALLY listening. Things are tighter than they've been in a long time. We're spending more money on gas and theatre stuff than ever before. I know it's what we came here to do, but I put a lot of pressure on myself not to waste a single cent as I keep our pantry stocked with food. It's to the point where I'm terrified that an extra mouth or two will show up for dinner because I know I've only set aside EXACTLY how much meat we need to feed the five of us. I've actually encouraged my brother and sister to plan game nights and get togethers so that people show up after any reasonable meal hour so that I don't have to figure out how or what to feed them.
And this is me...The one who loves to feed people. The person who has always been complimented on how welcome she makes people feel. The girl who thought hospitality might be one of her gifts. I've turned into the person who can come up with at least five excuses of reasons NOT to invite people over for dinner without even trying. I've turned into the person who guards the nights we have at home to ourselves because they seem to be so few and far between. I've turned into the person who doesn't see interruptions the way Jesus taught His disciples to. And I don't like it.
I'm beginning to see now that I am in desperate need of God's grace where hospitality is concerned. He's shown me that there will ALWAYS be strength for the work He calls me to. And I want to get this clear, I'm not talking about visiting with widows or taking care of children or feeding homeless people or preparing sermons. I'm talking about staying out at rehearsals and auditions and shows until LATE a bunch of nights in a row. I'm talking about spending anywhere from 1 to 4+ hours in a car in one day driving around in circles getting people to where they need to be. I'm talking about figuring out how to arrange my day around said taxi duties so that the laundry still gets done, the groceries get picked up, and the meals are prepared. I'm talking about being super emotional over the fact that there just doesn't seem to be any time left over to go visit my friends that live only a few hours away. He's granted me strength and shown me that every ounce of it came from Him just when I needed it. I trust that He's about to do the same thing with hospitality.
Funny that He would choose one (a story about rest) to introduce the other (a lesson on hospitality). That's how He works, you guys. Here a little, there a little. He calls us to BE His people and then He shows us how.
I don't have the answers. I know what Mark 6 and Medearis have made me WANT to do. I know that I want to stay in the Word. I know that I want to continue consciously basking in the light that God is to His people so that it becomes a habit. I know that I want to take time each day to quiet my soul before Him. And now, I know that I want to view interruptions the way He does and to use them the way He would, as though they are part of the plan. After all, they are. Like one of my favorite Southern Gals always says, "There is no plan B with God."
I'm writing this on March 9 and by the time you read this, I'll be with friends in MA who are like family. I've had a lot of those over the years and each and every one of them has opened up their home, their family, and their dinner table to me on countless occasions. I've had some amazing examples of what it is to be hospitable, but somewhere along the way there was a major disconnect.
I know it doesn't have to be perfect. I know it doesn't have to be fancy. And I know that God calls His people to imitate Him. So, ask me how it's going when I get home.