During the day, I usually leave my tent for a while. (Even if there is still laundry to do or dishes to wash…that cycle really never ends does it?) Most days I make my way to my office and ministry with young college students. And while I am there, I have an opportunity to create a space. I also have a choice in the type of space to create. From what I have learned so far from young college students, they are always receiving information. Social media is their first choice for information and from there the list includes friends, professors and parents or family. They have a lot of information coming from many directions just like all of us do. So when, these inspiring students come through the doors of this ministry the environment is important.
Working under the assumption that we are all co-creators with God, my goal is to work closely with God to design a spiritual space. A space that feels different from the world. A space that is full of encouragement. A space where you can feel God’s presence. A space to recharge.
Here are a few ways that I try my best to create such an environment. And the truth is, you can also create similar environments around you in your own tent or where you spend your time during the day.
- Create a space for dialogue (coming together to come up with a new solution) and not just discussion (where everyone presents their opinion and defends it). Most of the time we discuss topics. If we stretch and engage in dialogue about something, it creates new life.
- Speak positive words to one another. Every time students leave the building, I yell out “I love you and I am proud of you,” even if I do not know them well. Why? Simply because there are a lot of other words they will hear in their day that will be negative and pull them down.
- Talk about Jesus! We talk about a lot of things in our days…what we want for lunch, what we are doing, how our family is doing, what we want for dinner…but how much do we actually talk about Jesus? Jesus is who walks with us daily and makes life and eternal life possible. Talking about Jesus reminds us that Jesus is at the center of all we do.
- Pray. I am in constant prayer with God for little things and big things. I ask God to give me the right words. I ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit to show me the way forward. I pray for blessings on those who I meet. I give thanks for the support for the ministry and investment in students. I just pray. And it works.
When we are intentional about creating Godly space around us, we discover a deeper connection with the people and the world around us. We also gain a sense of the sacredness that surrounds us all.
Treat others just as you want to be treated. Luke 6:31
Enjoy your weekend!
A few weeks ago, I was sitting in church with my daughters. One on each side. During the beginning of the service, I noticed a man sitting by himself on the other side of the church. It was Mr. Charlie. His precious wife had died a few months before in the spring. I whispered to my daughters that we were going to move during the first song and sit with Mr. Charlie. We have been sitting with him in church every Sunday since then. Each Sunday we sing songs together, pray together and hear God’s word as it is read over us. An “Amen” is shouted out now and then. We have a great time worshipping God together.
Today, before I left to have lunch with my daughters at school. I picked up the phone and called Mr. Charlie. I invited him to join us for lunch at school. Twenty minutes later we were having a good time driving to pick up lunch before we arrived at the school. The smile on my daughter’s faces when they saw Mr. Charlie was priceless. Hugs were exchanged and we had a great time right in the middle of the noisy and busy cafeteria.
Right in the middle of our noisy, busy lives there are people and moments that God blesses. There are people that God needs us to bless. There are moments that God does not want us to miss. When we experience God’s people and God’s moments, life makes sense. The Kingdom of God is easy to see all around us.
Mr. Charlie talks and talks about how we are a blessing to him and how we are an answer to his prayers. My response is often that it is easy to be an answer to someone’s prayer when you love them. But what he doesn’t know is that he is a blessing to us as well. An answer to our prayers.
For 90 years, Mr. Charlie has lived on this earth as a faithful follower of Christ. He has served his country, enjoyed marriage, raised children, made friends, invested in his community, lived in different towns, completed a successful career and more. Mr. Charlie is an answer to our prayers. He is full of wisdom. His faith is alive and easy to see. He laughs easily. He is just the kind of friend we need in our busy and noisy lives. He reminds us that life is good and God is great.
In your busy and noisy lives today, I hope God’s sends you someone to share this life with where you are an answer to their prayers and they are an answer to your prayers. Keep your eyes open, they are all around. If you already have that someone, give them a call and take them to lunch. Food tastes better when a friend and God are at the table.
A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another. Romans 12:4-5
From our Happy Tent to yours,