Friday, September 21, 2012
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
‘The graveyard is the wealthiest place in the world’. We've all heard this often enough right? It’s full of unfulfilled dreams, un-utilised talents, untapped abilities, unapplied knowledge and information. This expression is so very cliché, yes! Nonetheless, no one can ever diminish the truth that it contains. Each of us knows several members of our families, circles of friends, professional colleagues, etc whom we can point at as not utilizing a fraction of their gifts and abilities. Too many have died without trying; too many more gave up along the way, their potentials never to be realised. Sadly, even as we point at others, many of us – yours truly included, could readily fit into this category unless we remain focused and intentional about how we live our lives. There is always that one thing (or several things, sigh!) that we know we can and should be doing, but which we so easily allow procrastination and the noises of life keep us from. The Lord once ministered to me over something I had been dilly-dallying about, ‘Do not let complacency keep you from your destiny, my child’. That was a much needed kick in the shin, I tell you.
I don’t recall where I first heard the message about dying empty .....about pouring out of yourself everything that God sent you to this earth to achieve. However, I do know that this has become a constant prayer point for me, that on the last day the Lord should not have cause to question how well I fulfilled my assignment on the earth. With each new strand of gray that appears on my head (and yes there’s one too many at this time, lol) I am reminded that life is a countdown. Like many of us, I wasted many a year doing things that didn’t count for the Kingdom (check YouTube: Gbile Akanni’s message ‘You are dead’). As the years roll by, my prayer and focus with the help of the Holy Spirit, is to use the rest of my life as effectively as I can, walking in the purposes of God for my life. Indeed, my prayer is that at the end, I will die empty; that my grave will not be fertile soil full of unrealised potential.
I had a set of experiences over the past couple of weeks that added to my perspective on the richness of the graveyard. Perspective! I find myself using that word a lot these days. It seems to me like once you become focused on Zero-living, once you become truly Kingdom-minded, that you really don’t take things as they come any more. There is a message and there is learning in just about everything. The Lord is speaking to us constantly through seemingly regular everyday events, conversations, interactions, etc. The Bible tells us to ‘seek the Lord while He might be found’. Seems to me that this seeking is not about being in church or about our quiet times; rather the seeking is to be as basic to us as our simple act of breathing; that we might find Him in everything that we think, say or do while we still have the breath of life in our mortal bodies. Yes! This is my perspective. And you know what sis? In the place of this understanding, I am amazed at the constant, otherwise overlooked manifestations of God’s favour, mercies and grace upon my every area of my life. Simply incredible!
Over the past few weeks, I have come to a deeper understanding that if we truly have the love of God in us; that if we truly believe that God is love; that if we truly wish to follow the Lord as our example; then the ‘doing’ is in our love walk with our fellow man. Our love walk is required to be a daily commitment and is not situation dependent. It is not a function of convenience. True love cannot be denied. It shines forth from within, manifested in things big and small which it is so easy to take for granted.
True love is my sister Karen staying up late, time and again, at the end of her very challenging work days, just to sort out some of the local travel logistics for her last-minute.com sister (yours truly) and her brood. True love is her taking time off work for several days in a row and playing chauffer, travel guide, food advisor, entertainment counsellor, et al – even knowing that I could readily find my way, but choosing to honour me with her time and presence.... and love! True love is my Coach Anna and her husband Richmond opening their hearts and home to my entire family, eight of us in all. True love is them extending the invite to a friend of mine – and then there were nine! True love is them making the unsolicited drive to and from the airport at odd hours to pick up my friend whom they didn’t even know. True love is Shemetris and Juanita – two special sisters, one of whom I had never met, moving into Coach Anna’s home for the period (leaving work, family and other responsibilities) and making themselves fully available to serve (literally) my family and I in any way that would ensure our time in Dallas was a great experience. True love is Ms. Harla, Ms. Margie and all the incredible ladies of Woman Act Now USA who just loved on us prior to and in the course of our time in Dallas.
I could go on sis, but I won’t. There was love ....deep and continuously flowing. It was genuine; it was an agape kind of love; and around it revolved God’s grace and favour. Yes sis, in simply day-to-day things, I could see that His banner over us truly is Love! And so this is the broader perspective that I have......
I have come to realize that beyond the richness of the graveyard in terms of unfulfilled dreams, visions, talents and abilities; the graveyard is full of love that was not freely poured out. Too many people have died without giving of themselves in service of others; they didn’t love enough and so clearly, they didn’t live enough. While it might be too late for those who have already left this earthly realm, this is a good time for you and I to reassess our love walk. Are we allowing the past pains, hurts, disappointments, negative experiences, rejection, and fears keep us from allowing ourselves to love fully and freely? To love not just those who are close to us but also those who are not? Are we yielding fully to the call to serve? Are we yielding to the call to love those who appear unlovable and or undeserving? Are we missing out on opportunities to pour out love on others because we might be inconvenienced in the process? Food for thought!
My prayer at the end of the day – for you and I sis, is that of all the many things that the Lord has put in us, we might die empty of love.... for God is love, and if we are made in His image and likeness then we must be love, we must give love and we must show love. My Coach defines love as ‘Contending for the highest possible good to be manifested in the present moment’. That is all we are guaranteed isn’t it sis? The present moment? Father, please open our hearts to truly love like you do. Help us to forgive, to overlook, to open ourselves to love others like you love us. Help us to pour out love according to your ultimate commandments, that at the end we will die empty of the love you have put in us; and that the lives of your children (not the graveyard) will be richer because we existed. The Lord will help you sis... He will help me!
Be blessed sis...... for you surely are!
WORD FOR THE WEEK
34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God
5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.
1st CORINTHIANS 1:
25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,
28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).