It’s the time of year where there is so much hustle and bustle to and from. It is easy to become so engrossed in the never ending to-do lists that I often forget to focus on what is most important – who is around me and who surrounds me – the Holy Spirit. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, His spirit guides us in this season. Thankfully, out of my own bubble and into the awareness of the world and the people he has put in my path – always for a reason.
After an action packed day at SSS and preparing for our Christmas Toy Shop it finally was time to head home to make dinner for my family. As I was getting in my car, a vehicle pulled into the parking lot and approached me, rolling down the window and asking if I was “with the church.” A wave of guilt rushed over me as I wondered what this person needed. All the food from SSS was already packed away, the volunteers were gone and I didn’t think there was much that I could offer but I nodded. This woman, near tears, explained her situation and asked for prayer.
Again the Holy Spirit washed over me as I put my mask on and prayed with her, asking that God fulfill her needs and grant her peace. After our prayer finished she thanked me and stated that she felt much calmer and appreciated me taking the time to pray with her because based on her appearance most people wouldn’t and she really just needed someone to believe in her. With that she went on her way. In a time where my to-do list was steering me in the wrong direction, God once again put me back on track.
And once again today, as I settled into my desk and my tasks the phone rang jarring me from my check list with an unexpected interruption. As I answered the phone, I realized the Holy Spirit was guiding me to adjust my thinking yet again (you’d think that I’d have the hang of this by now!!!). On the other end of the phone was a relationship and conversation far more important than checking off an item on a list. It was an opportunity to get to know someone who we serve, to find out how we might serve them better and to appreciate the volunteers that we have who already took the time to know that Mrs. R likes puzzles and quilting and baking cookies.
Delivering Disciples’ team of drivers set off yesterday with the prayer to carry them safely to provide meals to each of the individuals on their lists. As disciples, they not only deliver the meal, they also deliver the love of Jesus with a smile, a kind word, a few moments of time that is worth more to those we visit than we can imagine. Yesterday, our Delivering Disciples visited Mrs. R and she was calling to say just how much she appreciates us and how she would like to bake some cookies. I got to speak about how she can be involved in the future as our groups open back up and begin a process of fellowship. This is more important than my to-do list.
There are so many more stories and opportunities that I can share even in this past week that I have experienced through Salvation Army Bell Ringing, preparing our Christmas Toy Shop, even hand delivering a Christmas Card that have pulled me away from what my mind keeps telling me is important. Because the God knows what is truly important this Christmas and it doesn’t show up on the never ending to-do list. Those things show up when we least expect it. So keep your eyes open. Let the Holy Spirit guide you. Trust in God to lay your path before you. Don’t ignore the phone when it rings, the person who is reaching out for help or the unexpected opportunity to share a smile, join in fellowship and pray with or for those who need it most this time of year.
Proverbs 3: 5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.