” . . . keep busy . . . “

“So then, my dear friends, stand firm and steady. Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless.” (I Corinthians 15:58)

Wow, talk about busy!  On Tuesday evening I took the photo above of the room at the YOUTH 2015 Conference in Orlando. The room was in the process of being transformed into the worship space for 5000 youth and adults by Wednesday evening!

It was an exciting and meaningful experience for everyone.  Each evening the youth from our church crowded to the front of the room with hundreds of others to get as close to the stage as possible.  In a day when we’re bombarded with troubling news about our youth it’s fantastic to see this kind of excitement for worshiping and serving God.

During the last evening’s worship I was sitting in the back, and noticed that a spotlight behind the stage was shifted and began to shine out into the audience, right in my face.  It remained that way during the speaker’s talk and for most of the rest of the worship service.  I couldn’t look up without the light shining painfully in my eyes.  Then I had an inspiration.  There was an empty seat next to me.  I shifted over one seat so that the gentleman sitting in front of me shielded my eyes from the errant light.

I couldn’t see the speaker, but at least I didn’t have to keep my head down during the rest of the service.  The gentleman in the photo never knew he played an important role in my life that evening, but he did.

The experience started me wondering about the roles we play in each others’ lives.  Oftentimes we’re aware of the roles we play as teachers, friends, parents, helpers, neighbors, co-workers, partners, etc.  Hopefully we’re cognizant of the importance of the role and keep ourselves accountable with our demeanor, behavior, remarks, etc.  We’re “on our toes,” so to speak, because we know we might be having an important impact on the life of the other and even our own life in the relationship.

The role we play but never know or never know the results of our efforts can be just as important.  Allowing someone the courtesy of pulling out in traffic might seem just a simple gesture.  What if the person we beckon out was having a fit of cynicism, convinced that no one could be trusted to care, and your act of kindness breaks through?  What if a child receives a box of food this summer that you helped pack, and tucks away a thought that someone must care?  Might that not plant a seed of trust and hope?  What if the elderly person moving slowly and in your way at the grocery store gets a, “Hi.  You’re doing fine.  Don’t worry,” instead of a scowl and some mumbled insult?  Maybe that would restore the hope that they’re still valued instead of scorned and forgotten.

As Christians we can never “turn it off.”  We’re always called to care, to be aware that somehow, somewhere we might be playing an important role in someone’s life, even if we never know it happened.  I pray that God will keep me faithful and diligent in Christ’s love.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,


Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.
Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

~ by revgenelson on July 15, 2015.

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