I had a moment this week where I realized that thriving in ministry is about the simple things. I think these moments (though simple) are the really big moments where I feel God speaking from some invisible place into my very visible life.
I was watching the movie Despicable Me (which I thought was a very good movie, especially now as I reflect back on it) when out of no where I received a text from David, a youth that had previously attended our church. I hadn’t seen him for 6 months or so.
Now, go back with me “6 months or so” earlier to that moment when I saw David. At that point in time, I hadn’t seen him for probably a year or maybe longer. So it was random that I saw him. We caught up on life for a few minutes and I gave him my number; told him to call if he ever wanted to hang out. As it turns out, this was clearly a significant moment in time because he would take me up on my offer.
Which brings us back to today. His text message was an invitation to come watch a basketball game he’d be playing in the next night. He was very proud that he had made the varsity team and thought enough of me that he wanted me to be there. I thought it was pretty cool that he wanted me to attend his game. After all, I was this apparently insignificant person in his life due to the fact that I never see him, or so I thought. But it wasn’t until the next day that I realized the depth of what had just happened.
The next morning when I got to the office, Patty (who is closely connected with David’s family) greeted me with such excitement. She said something to the effect of, “You must feel so encouraged huh? You deserve it! I felt so proud of the relationship that you have developed with him, that he would invite you to his game. You really have made an impact on his life.”
Wow. It was very encouraging to hear those words. And it was in that moment that it hit me: these “moments” make the difficult times worthwhile. I can remember times when David didn’t really seem to care about what I had to say. But without spending that time together, without being there for him week in and week out while he’s in my life, without continuing to offer that invitation to hang out even when I randomly run into him after he had apparently left my life, I don’t always experience the fullness of what life has to offer. No, without those difficult moments I can’t always experience the good moments. Maybe that’s what Jesus meant when he said, “In this world you will have trouble, but I give you my peace” (John 16). I think there’s a lot of wisdom you can learn from this, if you haven’t already.
I like those moments where you randomly see people you haven’t seen in awhile. And I like when those moments turn into something bigger. I’ve always thought “God Moments” are weird. Is it really God working or do I just over-Christianify it (yes I made that word up)? I don’t know, but I do know that I was truly encouraged by what took place. Thank you, God for this simple moment in time. Thank you for allowing ME to have relationships like these!