It Starts With Me!

Last night God gave me another of those "punch in the stomach" reminders on how He would want me to live...

I went to a pastors meeting for the Kitchener/Waterloo area. There is a big Billy-Graham-type of event planned for June 2008 in Kitchener. Local pastors are being involved from the beginning to make this a big outreach event. I'm ALL for this so I figured I would attend the meetings regularly. Also, I thought this would be a great chance for me to get to meet more pastors from the area.

So I arrived early, grabbed a coffee and sat down. And I sat there completely by myself for the entire evening. No one said "Hi" to me. No one introduced themselves to me. No one asked who I was. The entire time people were greeting each other, hugging, getting caught up, laughing and having a great time, I sat there, alone, basically a stranger among a tight-nit family. By the end of the first half of the meeting, I actually felt like I didn't belong and when the opportunity came to leave the meeting early, I bolted out the door.

On the car ride home it hit me... Here we were, a room full of pastors and church leaders, discussing a fantastic event to help reach out to our community... yet we don't even reach out to the person RIGHT BESIDE US! The question that hit me was "Am I living my life in a way that reaches out to those people who God has placed right beside me or am I ignoring them to hang out with those that I already know and like?" Now, since I still feel like a newbie in this part of the world, I probably am still more in "reach out" mode (since I need to be busting into the circles that already existed before I got here) but would that change once I really get settled here? I like to think that I won't...

So my prayer is God let it start with me! Help me to live a life like Jesus... reaching out to the hurting, the sick, the lost, the ignored, the stranger. God, please, let it start with me. Don't let me live a life of comfort and ease! Don't let me settle into the same thing day in, day out. Don't let me ignore the stranger in the room with me.

P.S. Hopefully this post doesn't sound like I'm complaining about last night's event, or those wonderful pastors who were there. I know full well that with the stress of ministry sometimes pastors just need a time of refreshing and getting together with friends and peers for a good time. Normally, when I don't know people I just bust my way into conversations and start introducing myself :) Last night I wasn't in the mood for that... and I think God used it as a lesson for me and who knows... maybe for someone else too :)

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