Neil Vance, our Director of Youth, shares a recent learning moment of faith and life...and a good challenge for us.
When I was a student at Bethel University I had the opportunity to attend a few trainings for those in leadership roles on campus. At one of these trainings I distinctly recall being challenged by a speaker about how we can encounter hundreds of people on any given day, and those people might often only see or experience a small snapshot of who we are. For example they might only see how we react when someone cuts us off in traffic or when our cashier makes a mistake and it takes far longer to ring up our groceries than we might expect. Perhaps the snapshot might even just be the music they hear pouring from our car windows when we pull up next to them at a stop light.
A Challenge to Me
So, the challenge is what impressions are we leaving with others? And most importantly, do these snapshots of ourselves point people to God?
This has been something that has continued to convict me in many ways over the years, and I have realized this same principle holds true to the things I support, whether it is financially, or just with my time. What we support provides a snapshot into who we are.
This conviction is why I decided a couple weeks ago, despite being the avid sports fan that I am, to go an entire weekend without watching any NFL games in protest to the way the league has handled off-the-field issues. (If you haven’t done so I encourage you to read my initial blog post of my thoughts on the issue here.)
The idea was that I could not in good conscience tune in and watch the games and ignore the numerous off the field incidents and problems I have with the sport. God had given me what I believe was a holy discontentment; I could no longer not act on these feelings. The phrase that resonated with me for this was found in an African proverb, “praying with my feet.” As in, if I am someone that prays for and seeks change in the world I must be someone who is willing to put forth the effort to act and implement that change myself.
And you know what? It ended up being a terrific weekend. Instead of spending parts of my Sunday and Thursday/Monday nights in front of the television I was able to spend my time in much more productive ways. As often is the case when we step out in ways to honor Him, God met me in this time!
But this really isn’t about football at all. This experience has no doubt left me with a lasting contemplation of the things I support with my time and money. As a Christ follower it is my duty to be a good steward of my resources, which I believe includes time, talents, and resources. I am to “pray with my feet” as well as my hands, heart, and wallet.
A Challenge for You
Which leads me to an important question I would like you to consider: Where might God be calling you to “pray with your feet?” As I mentioned in my original post, I believe many times God desires us to just be still and silent in prayer with Him. But, I also believe He often seeks to use us as His hands and feet if we will only give into the subtle tugs on our heart, those “holy discontentments.”
So my challenge to you today is this: the next time you feel God putting something on your heart, whether it be something small like avoiding a weekend of football, or something much greater like perhaps sponsoring a child in a developing nation, that you might pay attention to that and “pray with your feet.” I am confident you won’t be disappointed.