I spent last week in a conference that was just super awesome. I shouldn’t be surprised since I left thinking exactly the same thing last year when the same conference ended. But I am. But I also feel overloaded with information, sooner than later I may constipate if I don’t get through it. So this blog is my way of processing it.
My biggest take out was that your story has a link to your purpose; that was such an aha moment. We all have a story, a past, a present, a journey, struggles, victories etc and that story is who we are. We can use that story.
However, more often than not we are found hiding away from this story, running away from these realities, picking and choosing only that which feels good to our present selves. In the process our story gets lost.
Parable of talents
One of the most compelling things I heard throughout this conference was with regards to the pains, the skeletons, and the stuff we more often than not want to forget about. That we often have a choice, we can let these pains win, we can watch evil win, we can be victims of our past, or we can stand and chose the victory that’s offered at the cross.
However, often we are either of these: a victim who is used to being the seen as the victim and the resulting pity; or we are the escapists, those who’d rather forget and pretend the pains and skeletons never happened. I am more of the second one; the queen of escapism.
One of the shame on my escapism moments came when one of the speakers equated this to the guy who was given a talent by his boss but he hid them.
The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
You see often this verse is used in the context of money management, at best in the talent and resources management. But here was a speaker equating my not utilizing the skeletons in my closets as laziness. He was saying I had dug a hole in the ground and hid my skeletons there.
One of the things I will remember for a while was this; that in the story of these talents, there were only 2 kinds of people, the lazy man who did nothing with his talent and faithful guys who utilized their talents. There was no in-between man who tried to utilize the talents and failed. That was a mind boggling statement – whatever God has given me, the opportunities, the joys, the pains, He can use it all! There never will be a failed attempt to utilize any of these, one way or another if we are faithful in utilizing what God has given us, He grows it.
The bold ones
One of the ladies attending this conference shared how she was molested and raped at a tender age, how she married a guy who went even further and physically abused her. But one day she decided she had enough of being the victim. Evil was not going to have the last word over her life. They meant these for evil, but God meant it for good. She changed the story to a story she shares with other women, and has subsequently formed an organization that deals with similar matters. Wow, that really got to me; a story used for God’s glory.
What if we all did the same thing? What if we all sought to have our stories turned for God’s glory? What if we all got tired of the ‘poor me’ state and instead decided to utilize whatever we are, whatever we have, for His glory. Just imagine the healing this world this city would encounter.
In this same conference I met a man who has so simply started a foundation in Uganda that assists with paying for cancer kids – how did this start, the guy was a kids’ entertainer, that’s how. I also got to hear from a lady who is walking with women – equipping women with life skills that assist them with their battles and there were amazing testimonies there. We also got to hear from an ordinary Kenyan as you and me who has started an initiative that is truly reforming inmates in prison.
But there was also professionals like me; those who think we ain’t made for big orgs and think there is no role for us to play to make our world all the better. Oh did I just say professionals like me, maybe not. These were a new kind of professionals. Those who know that their success, their careers, all must be for God’s glory. So no they probably will not be starting an organization but they are doing amazing things. One of them has used his influence in a big organization in Kenya to have the members of staff taken through a discipleship course that will help the employees connect with God, their purpose and community. That’s big, this guy will not be starting the big organisations but he’s using what he has in his hands – influence. Then there were other professionals who are financially or otherwise helping with church planting.
I have a story…use it Lord
All this got me thinking, that if I have a story, and you betcha I do, if I have a story, and we all do then I am pastor in the making – a funkier name is marketplace pastors!
Maybe the reason I resonate with this so much is that I have learnt we all have a story. I have a story. We have a journey that makes us who we are. A journey that so influences how we see our world. We all have a story. Sometimes a super nice story. Other times it is bumpy one. Other times its plain crappy. But the combination of it all makes us who we are.
See the reason I have this information constipation feeling is I don’t want an year to pass me by with all this infor and be saying it was a great conference but none to show from it. And so I sang this song with absolute abandon:
If You can use anything Lord You can use me; If You can use anything Lord You can use me; Take my hands, Lord And my feet Touch my heart, Lord And speak through me If You can use anything Lord You can use me
After the multitudes Heard the words that Jesus said He took two fish and five loaves And the multitude was fed Lord, what I have may not be much But I know it can Multiply by Your touch So if You can use anything Lord Come on and use me
But most of all…..
But as we ended. What was in my heart. What is still in my head is this. Lord fill me with Your Spirit. Lord, more of what are you doing in me and not through me. Lord if you can be my all. Lord if my waking and living can be you – fully for you, then that will be enough.
As we ended, more than what my purpose is, more than the what God has called me to do, more than all that, I desired for more of Him. I desire to walk with You Lord. I desire to be at your feet all of my days. I desire you Lord. Arms High and Heart Abandoned for You Lord.
So as You please Jesus. As you’d have me be, I will be Yours. Coz Your Love still is the best thing I know. Knowing You Jesus still is heaven to me. So Lord, as You please. You are my forever. And all for your glory. A work in progress in the Hands of the Ultimate Potter.