Monday, June 13, 2011

I wasn't planning on writing this post, but here I am on Sunday afternoon, and I can't stop thinking about what I heard in church this morning. Granted, I only heard about 3/4 of it since I had a wiggly 4 year old in my lap . . . But, there was a handout - which gets me excited. A handout, for a new sermon series, with questions to consider throughout the week.

Ah, perfect for the distracted mother who can't quite get it all during church. I get a cheat sheet for later! Also, this appeals to my Baptist background where we often got "Sermon Notes" outlines in the bulletin. Purposeful note taking satisfies my inner (or outer?) nerd.

Anyway - the sermon. The title was, "Are You Thirsty?" and it focused on this scripture:

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-39

This tied in with Pentecost Sunday, of course, and the celebration of the Holy Spirit coming to the apostles in Acts. But we didn't focus on that so much as the following questions:

(1) What are you thirsty for?
(2) What do you desire in your life?
(3) Am I thirsty or has my thirst been too easily quenched?

The last one got me. I am one of those people who often says, "Everything's fine! I'm not thirsty." But the pastor pointed out that when we stop asking questions, when we get nice and cozy in our comfort zone, we often stop growing in our Christian life. This is me. My thirst is too easily quenched.

Not surprisingly, an opportunity to work outside my comfort zone soon presented itself.

My current comfort zone is, "I do enough. I need to start saying no to additional volunteer opportunities. I should give someone else a chance to shine." (Doesn't that make it sound better? "Giving someone else a chance." Yeah, I know . . . I'm not fooling anyone.)

Following this mantra, I did not respond to a recent Sunday School class email request to provide food for the local night shelter. I saw it as opportunity to "let others do it."

(Sigh - this is painful to write!)

I did not feel bad about it. I just made my decision and went on my merry way, until church this morning, that sermon, and then Sunday School after - when someone announced that we are short on food. I could practically feel the Holy Spirit tapping my shoulder.

Still, I remained mute.

Someone said, "Making these sandwiches is a great thing to do with your kids. They can help and you just deliver them here to the church. We'll take care of getting them to the shelter."

At that point the Holy Spirit smacked me between the shoulder blades and out came the words, "We can help. Put me down for 2 dozen. I'm sorry I didn't volunteer earlier."

I meant every word. My thoughts suddenly changed, "What am I doing acting like my cup runneth over when it comes to giving to others? I'm looking into one tiny cup!"

Maybe what I need to pray for is depth, a deeper cup. Maybe even one with a hole in the bottom, so that I am always thirsty. So that I am not complacent, uncaring, numb or oblivious. Because I've been in that comfort zone, and it turns out that it isn't so cozy.

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10 Responses to “Thirsty”

  1. Hi Courtney.  This is a great post.  Its a lot to take in so I'm still absorbing it.  I also think the 3rd question there is the one I'll be pondering.
    God bless

  2. Yeah, I know that comfort zone. I've been there, written about it and sometimes, launched myself out of it only to find the blessings just outside. Thanks for your honest post. It touched a nerve here and elsewhere, I'm sure. You should write about the sandwich-making endeavor with your kids once you're done!

  3. wow that third question really hits home doesn't it?  one I will ponder for awhile.  I think we all have been where you are and so often need multiple pushes from God to do what He wants.  It must have pleased Him when you said yes.   Good thoughts and glad I found your blog.  I signed up to follow you  too.

  4. Hey Courtney -  I guess I was in the same boat about delivering the supplies we collected the previous week...but, WOW, the impact it made on me surely opened my eyes.  Such a simple task that I tried to avoid but such a huge reward for me and my family.  I can also say I was feeling the same way about the food....probably even more so than you because I was actually thinking more like "oh no, not again..."  Just like you, I finally volunteered.  Once again, I saw that the opportunity had been presented to me for a reason greater than myself.  Tonight, the hubby and my little guy actually put the sandwiches together while I made our dinner - so, it really did turn it into a full family project.  We used it as a teaching opportunity and I'm sure weeks from now my little 3 year old will somehow remind me of the day we made sandwiches for the people who didn't have any to eat otherwise.  Thanks for your was a great sermon...and I find myself in the same boat!  I like the idea of a smaller cup....and a cup with a small leak so that we realize our thirst more easily.  How was your sandwich making experience?  Thanks for another good reminder to continue looking for ways to quench my thirst! - Jessica

  5. Jessica - Thanks for your comment!  When you talked about your experience delivering those supplies the other day I was nodding my head in agreement.  Obviously right there with you!  But like you, being pushed outside my comfort zone to serve others was a really good thing.  The boys and I put the sandwiches together on Monday morning and it was a good learning experience - one I now want to repeat again soon.  Imagine that!  :)

  6. Thanks,  Jean!  So glad you stopped by and thank you for following.

  7. Hi Laura - I considered taking pictures and documenting the sandwich making with my kids, but I found myself just wanting to "be" in the moment and not fooling with a camera.  It was a great experience, though - it gave me the chance to talk to them about hunger and doing for others.  They seemed to understand, and they definitely enjoyed helping me lay out the bread, place the meat, etc.  The assembly line was perfect for eager boys!  Even though I didn't document the experience, I have a feeling it will come up in a blog post sooner or later.  Thanks for stopping by - I always get a lot of encouragement from you and your writing!

  8. Cool story. The Holy Spirit definitely has a way of nudging us in the direction he wants us to go!

  9. Sorry, I don't understand Disqus. Don't know why it is posting as it is.