Yesterday, I was at my coaching certification course with the John Maxwell Team Training —– had a moment that pretty much sums up my existence as a whole. I know what you are thinking, “wow, what a moment”. But to get the full experience I need to tell the back story.
WHAT A GREAT DAY!
I am sitting at a table in the rear, right side of the room, with 5 other GREAT people. There are about 90 other tables in the room. At our particular table, we have two certified coaches instead of the standard one. In addition, our table is positioned near the staff tables (near left of us).
Innocently sitting in my seat – I have no clue what is about to happen… BUT apparently there was a memo sent to all in attendance, explaining some of the expectations of the event. Now, either i didnt read this “said” memo (most likely), or I never received “said” memo. Either way, I was about to unknowingly face what the FEAR of the majority of the people in the room, public speaking. Our SENT assignment was to prepare a 5 minute presentation about a life story that would encourage the people in the room BEFORE coming to the even… AND, this is revealed in our FIRST session, and that we will be doing those presentations right now. Not this afternoon, not tomorrow morning – but at this very minute.
I quickly took a survey of our table and my heart sank as I realized the severity of my solitary position. I truly was the ONLY person who had nothing prepared. Papers started coming out of briefcases, pictures and props – all being placed meticulously on the tables around the room.
My heart started racing, oh crap!
But my fears were quickly calmed as they announced the order of the presentations..I had 5 people before me. I have time… Thank God, I now have time to drum up some kind of semblance of self-preserving presentation that could mask me to look like a person who didnt know how to speak, (instead of a person didnt read their emails). But – the instructions were not complete – no, I was about to be faced with an ethical and moral dilemma.
“Everyone has 6 evaluation sheets in your packet that you will use to evaluate the performances of those at your table. While they are sharing, you will mark the appropriate boxes and then at the end of their presentation you will write comments to encourage them.”
Here I am, ready to misuse the time while someone is sharing their hard fought presentation to the group in order to prepare my message – instead of giving them my UNDIVIDED attention. Now with this new assignment, I could no longer feel ok with dismissing their presentation, now integrity was going to expose my plan as I would have NO evaluation form filled out if I took the time to prepare my presentation.
I CANNOT DO THAT – I can’t disrespect the person standing in front of me by being selfish - thats not my calling… See, this is where it started changing in me – a small reminder of what my call really is in life.
Here it is: I am called to help others succeed.
to sacrifice my calling
to gain influence… to gain an applause?
No – not this time… I bowed my head right there and prayed. “God, if there is any other way – please take the cup from me” – just kidding, it was more like “Oh, Jesus – seriously? Please help me to not look like a fool” HEY - Just being honest, I was facing my humanity of the fear of man’s opinion and man’s acceptance. I wanted to look good to those around me, but that wasn’t an option IF I was to look for a way in this situation to “help others succeed”.
The MOMENT: So I set myself as flint before each presentation. Stirring up the gift of an encourager and helping others succeed, listed intently, and gave them glowing evaluations and reviews of their presentation. There were verges of tears in some, lots of laughter in others, and heart strings being attached to a vision- all in each of their presentations…
It was in THOSE moments that God began to speak to me. Not in full sentences, it was more like “here is your start”, and “Here is the story that I want you to share”…
<<<THE TIME CAME>>>
I am there…
looking into the faces of those innocent subjects…
what happens now God?
The bell rings
TIME to start my 5 minute presentation and it began like this…
“Have you ever been in a situation where something enters your pursuit of a dream, your passion to achieve a goal – and immediately you define it as disruptive, distracting? Like today – the moment where you realize that you are being asked to share a 5 minute presentation, and its the FIRST time you’ve heard of it? It says in 2 Timothy 4:2b that we are ready both in season in out of season…”
Here I was, completely thrown off and fearing failure… the WHOLE time God had been setting me up. God had a plan to encourage people at our table AND use the calling on my life (to help others succeed). IT WASN’T A DISTRACTION – it was a shortcut to my dream…
I proceeded to brag on my bride (nili) and her story of realizing that disruptions and obstacles can be catalysts for shortcuts to the end goal. However, it requires a different mindset: IN NILI’s CASE – instead of seeing the diagnoses of leukemia as stall to the FAST MOVING plan of God, using Leukemia as a catalyst for change in others. A SHORTCUT to fulfilling the call. See, it was in those moments of “disruption” that Nili shared the love of God with countless patients, nurses, doctors and even an EMT in the back of the ambulance (leading him to Christ while running a 106degree fever being med-evacuated to the hospital) – Her calling and her dream givers dream…
Its not the problem that derails us, its our attitude about the problem that robs us from the blessing. CHANGE OUR THINKING>>>God can write you a check to pay off your home anywhere, in a conference, at work, in your home, or in back of an ambulance… Its our job to always fulfill the CALLING that is on our lives.
Question for today:
What is your calling? I have finally written mine down, and it is very simple. In fact, it can be accomplished in countless ways (some of which I have made plans for, some of which I am doing now) and I choose to think that I don’t know all the ways HE wants to do it. Instead, I want to fulfill the call of HELPING OTHERS SUCCEED in every situation, not just my PATH that I have crafted and label-maker stickered to prove its God. No more worries about the path, and just stick to the calling.
I know, LONGGGG post, but I hope this really challenges you (and me) to become all the more selfless. Want to change the world, quit chasing a dream and start obeying the dream giver (after all, he thought all of it up already
Here is my day, here is my heart – change me to be selfless like you – change my heart to beat with the passion you have for people – change my mind to be triggered by the call on peoples lives - let me see everyone with the love that you have for them and in response love them with the same love (and void of my interpretation and disqualifications). Here is my day, here is my life – use me please, in any way you see fit! I love you God.