Dominic and I were talking on the way home from a meeting last night and I was telling him more about my visit with Karlena. I shared how her church is having this capital campaign and she was asked to be a prayer leader to commit to praying at a specific time for God’s hand in what they were doing. In fact on Sunday after the service she was given this slip of paper asking her to pray from 7-7:30pm that night.
I had forgotten about the whole thing pretty much after we left the service. We spent the day playing with Elijah and visiting and when her husband got home from work it was all a distant memory. Later that evening Kerry started getting dinner ready and it was about 6:50pm when we were about ready to eat.
Then I see Karlena asking Kerry to get a bible out for her and she went back into her bedroom to pray! She said that she would eat after she was done and we should go ahead. And for the next half hour she went and fulfilled her commitment. In all honesty – had that been me I would have prayed…eventually….but I probably wouldn’t have done it when I was “supposed” to…I would have found a reason…dinner, the tv, a movie something and would have made a choice to put off my commitment. But Kalrena didn’t. She remembered – she made sure that she went when she needed to and she excused herself to a place where she could pray and not be disturbed. That whole thing has really stayed with me this week.
That whole situation is an example of what I so appreciate about who Karlena is in my life. That example of faith. And I told Dominic that I think that is what scares me….knowing that I won’t always have that example in my life – in a tangible way…you know? I said I didn’t know if I would ever be ready to lose that.
And he says…and not in a mean way or anything but insightful…”it isn’t that you aren’t ready to lose Karlena’s example, it maybe is that you aren’t ready to be the example on your own”.
He was speaking truth to me and I felt it!
And he is right. It is so much easier for me to be inspired by who Karlena is then to work to be someone that inspires. Because to me it seems like “work”. And I don’t think that it is for her. It just seems from my perspective that she is in that place where loving and trusting God in a big way isn’t “work” to her. It is just who she is.
The image came to me this morning, upon further reflection, of Michelangelo. He didn’t paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in one day. It took work. What is now a beautiful and inspiring painting started with 1 person stepping out in faith, willing to do the “work”.
I can’t expect to just “be” someone who inspires without being willing to do a little of the leg work that God requires. So maybe that means if someone asks me to pray for them that I really commit to doing it. Every day. Finding that quiet time with God and being willing to be quiet and listen for once to what He has to say. And then trusting His will and plan for my life and not always taking back the reigns.
I know that Karlena’s journey of faith isn’t something that came without hardship and struggle. I know that she was given opportunities to choose an abundant life in Christ or a life filled with anger and bitterness. We are all given that same choice!! She as you know choose Christ. But she still puts in the “work” to foster that relationship. She is in His word, she surrounds herself with other like-minded people and she continues to step out in faith, trusting the path He has for her.
So if I want the same result I need to also be willing to do the "work" - whatever the cost to develop that deep relationship with Christ. So that some day maybe my kids or my grandkids can say that they saw Christ in me and will draw to Him too.
What a beautiful painting that will be – when we go to be with Christ and we see the journey we have taken to get to Him. Talk about inspiring!!