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Being on Mission in Holiday Madness

November 30, 2009

While at Whole Foods the other day, I had to overcome some fears and I had to do it quickly.

As my cashier Jaime was loading my groceries into the bag, I asked him how the crowds had been with the Thanksgiving rush… He said they weren’t too bad.

I told him I shop at Whole Foods on special occasions. My husband was in seminary and our budget was tight.

“What’s seminary?” he asked.

Trying to think of a simple answer to what seemed like a complicated question, I said:

“Well, it’s a school where you learn more about the Bible and eventually become a pastor or something like that. My husband wants to help teach others the Bible… It’s a non-denominational, Christian, evangelical school.”

“Oh okay,” he replied.

I could tell the people behind me were anxious to get their groceries on the belt, but I had another question for him and those people were annoying me so I just blurted out:

“Do you have a church background at all?” I said extremely fast.

“What was that?” he asked.

“Did you grow up in the church at all?”

“Well, my family is Roman Catholic and I grew up in that but I’m not into the whole ceremonial stuff. You know…”

“Yeah I understand… Well, the church my husband and I go to is more about a relationship with God than it is about religion. It’s laid back and it really doesn’t look like a church at all. You wouldn’t think it was one.”

“Where’s it located?”

“It’s a big building off 635 and 75. We’re still in the building phase actually.”

He said he thought he’d seen it before from the interstate.

“I think you’d really like it!” I added.

He stopped and looked at me.

“Well I’ll promise you this- I’ll go and check it out sometime.”

I was shocked. Really? You would? I thought.

I smiled, said that would be awesome, and wished him a great Thanksgiving.

As I left that day, I was ecstatic that God used that 2 minute window for me to talk to Jaime. I often get this knot in my stomach before starting up a spiritual conversation. Even though Jesus is the most important person in my life who I want to proclaim to the world every day that I live, I still have fears. I still struggle with getting past “me” and other insecurities.

But I’m learning that the greatest way to overcome that fear is to dive in wholeheartedly, no matter the risk.

To lovingly engage people in conversation.

To live on mission.

To get past the distractions so that God can receive glory, even during the holiday madness.

I pray that Jaime will remember our talk and check out Watermark so he can learn what it means to have a relationship with God.

I hope you’ll pray with me too. In the mean time, I’ll be checking up on him the next time I need a treat!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2009 12:53 pm

    Great article. Courage and conviction lead to invitation; you have both.

    I linked here from Chrystie’s blog “Path from The Head to the Heart.” Good to see you write for Bluefish. We use some of their material in our church. I’m reviewing some more now.

    Also, good to see that you are a writer. I self-published my first book this fall – a collection of essays/meditations on Proverbs, and hope to break into the “article market.” It will be interesting for me to follow someone’s blog who has already done that.

    And good article on leading small groups. I passed it on to our elders and some of the small group leaders.

    Very good blog.

    Warren

  2. November 30, 2009 1:07 pm

    Warren- great to meet you. Wow, thank you so much for the encouragement. I’m really glad you were able to pass along the article on leading small groups as well. Feel free to let me know if there are any other resources your staff is looking for. And I’d be happy to offer you any assistance in breaking into the article market.

    That’s awesome you’re familiar with Bluefish too. We’re always encouraged to hear when churches are using what we create.

    I look forward to checking out your blog!

  3. Anna permalink
    November 30, 2009 1:10 pm

    Thanks for the encouragement! I think it’s easy sometimes for me to say “That’s not a gift God has given me…” but really he’s called ALL of us to boldly share our faith, regardless of other gifts. I’ll try to do that more!

  4. November 30, 2009 2:49 pm

    A great story, Samantha! Like you, I get scared whenever these opportunities arise – more often than not, I wind up ignoring God’s promptings to talk. What’s cool is that God used you to invite Jaime into His Story – and more importantly, you obeyed His prompting. Awesome.

  5. November 30, 2009 3:01 pm

    Anna- yes, we are on mission and there’s no way around it. It’s so comforting to know that it is God who does any good through us and with him, we can’t make excuses. He gives us the boldness. I am glad you were encouraged by the story.

    And yes… Andy it’s definitely HIS story and not mine. I just happened to be there at that moment, walking in the Spirit. (of course this isn’t always the case and I’m not always in tune to other people.) It’s all God’s grace.

    I am glad that we can all spur each other on in some of our greatest, crazy fears. I’d love to know if you happen to overcome any of yours this week.

  6. December 1, 2009 8:16 pm

    I’ll let you know after Sunday. I’m preaching at my church this week, and your post dovetails perfectly into what I’ll be talking about.

    I guess He’s telling me something as well… 🙂

  7. December 1, 2009 8:22 pm

    That’s awesome. I’ll be praying for that and that God will work in the hearts who hear. I’m sure you will do great.

  8. December 4, 2009 12:28 pm

    Okay Samantha – I guess I didn’t have to wait until Sunday to take a leap of faith…not when it occurred within the context of my small group yesterday morning. You should check out my latest post…I essentially lived my sermon yesterday.

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