I just came from my home church, Calvary Baptist Clearwater, where we had a leaders’ rally this evening as we kick off a new season of ministry to coincide with the school year. I meant to take a picture of all the people inside as documentation, but you’re going to have to do with a building shot taken out the side rear window:
The theme that stuck out to me this evening was the concept of Reinventing yourself often. It’s kind of a business/organization/leader buzz word, but its meaning stripped from the veneer of a thousand gel-haired Zig Ziglers in 8 piece suits is a good one – don’t be satisfied with good when God destined you to be great for His sake.
Our pastor is going through John 15 right now and one of his phrases he keeps hammering home (working, btw) is this:
There’s no growth without change; there’s no change without pain.
How true is that? I think that’s the core message of the “reinvent” yourself terminology. It’s why Michael Jordan went and played baseball for a couple of years; it’s why Tiger Woods changed his swing five times; and it’s why we must be willing to place ourselves in uncomfortable situations where we’re slightly inadequate so that God can take us to another level of effectiveness. He reinvents us, over and over and over again.
The problem is, as every player who’s ever lived has heard from a coach at some point – “No pain, no gain.” These aren’t just catchy slogans filled with assonance and rhyme for the heck of it. There is much truth in them if we’ll allow ourselves to stop being skeptical for one freaking minute and think about what we really want from our pathetic existence. If the easy way out or staying in a comfortable place brought me the most fulfillment and joy out of life, I’d be all for it. And the truth is, I’m for it far too much. But if we’re honest, the best things in life are the hard things; the most valuable things in life are the ones that require perseverance. I don’t want to live just a good life; I want to live an exceptional life. And to do that, I must be willing to change and blasted out of my quasi-comfort and shameless complacency.
The good thing is that in about 2 hours, I’m praying that a whole lot of change will be taking place. The “finder” – the man who found our son – is testifying at the US Embassy tomorrow. God only knows the full dramatic story behind our son’s abandonment, but we’re praying that his first hand account corroborates the police report and that the US Embassy is confident of Asher’s orphan status.
Oh, you didn’t know his name? Yeah, it’s Asher. You can read the full story HERE. And I just love this pic of little dude:
One thing that hasn’t changed is I still go to Chick-fil-A every day, and was greeted by a new staff member today (again, new to me – I think the school year started up means new employees to replace the ones who moved to college? Maybe?): Rebecca.Rebecca and crew helped me out with my new thing to do, which is just to buy my sandwich and a drink (no side), in this case the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich and a Dasani water:
I know, I ordered it yesterday. I was actually craving another salad, but since I picked it up on the way to the Leader Rally, I needed something I could hold onto, you know? Alas, the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich, no rabbit food, with that Chick-fil-A sauce, had its number called again.
**Side note** A buddy of mine told me how to make the Chick-fil-A sauce at home. #lettheexperimentingbegin