Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Wednesdays at Mellelos
Wednesday afternoons = Mellelos Coffee
I have made it a weekly habit to take my computer and journal and head to a local coffee shop to take a break from working in order to think, journal, blog, and catch up on emails. It's a lovely tradition and I look forward to it every week. It helps my brain to slow down a bit. With VBS rapidly approaching in t-minus 12 days there are so many things to think about, people to talk to, and big and little tasks to be done. My brain feels a bit like a major LA freeway with cars of all shapes, colors, and sizes zipping around, crashing into each other, going the wrong way on one way streets, and making a lot of noise. I'm not really stressed, per say. It is more of just the pressure of being responsible for directing this whole thing. It is no easy task. Note to self: don't ever become a CEO, or a business owner, or a doctor, or president of the United States, or anything else that requires loads of responsibility over lots of people. Just watch. Now God will place me in one of those positions. Eek. As I try and examine myself and analyze who I am and what I want these are the thoughts that have been emerging recently: I like to lead by example in small every day situations. Acts of service, hospitality, gestures of love, words of encouragement, unexpected gifts, etc. I never want to let myself get too busy that I don't have time for those daily moments of ministry.
Just this morning I had an experience, in which I surprised myself by speaking up in a situation that I would have most likely kept quiet several years ago. While standing in line at the Bank of America ATM downtown, I watched as a young woman and her daughter took an unreasonably long time to complete their transaction. From behind me I heard a grouchy old gentleman speak up. The conversation went something like this:
Grouchy man: “What are you doing up there- writing a darn book?! This is ridiculous!”
Me: “Patience is a virtue you know” (smiling at him)
Grouchy man: “Ya? I read that on my refrigerator this morning too. Love holds no record of wrongs..but the Bible doesn't say that I can't speak my mind.”
Me: “It does say to speak only kind words to others.”
Grouchy man: “Well some people are just inconsiderate”
Me: “We are pretty spoiled here in America with having everything so quick and readily available.”
Grouchy man: “I don't know if that's the point. Some people people are just ridiculous. Besides Bank of America only has two locations here.”
Me: (after finishing my transaction) “Yes, well have a nice day.” (smiling)
I felt so bad for the woman (who obviously heard the whole thing). I had to stand up for her. I hope I planted a seed of happiness in that man though and gave him something to think about. I prayed for him afterward because I can tell he needs some joy and perspective in his life. What I really wanted to tell him was to go to Africa and then he would appreciate what he has here in America a little bit more.
I read this week that there are really only two questions that have driven people for all of history. It all boils down to 1) Who is in charge? And 2) How much do you love me?
Love is the center of it all. My actions should all stem from love and when people look at me I want them to see the love of Christ. He said “they will know you are my disciples by your love for one another.” If I just remember that ministry and life boils down to this then it is easier not to get stressed out or muddled up in ideas, philosophies, theologies, methods, or accomplishments.
My apologies if this doesn't all flow together. It is the inner workings of my head this week as I try to serve the Lord, serve others, and make some big decisions about the future.