The other day I blew it. Jen and I were in the grocery store and we met a delightful fellow. We got to talking about football. At one point in our lengthy conversation, I made a move toward a close so I could wrap up my shopping. And right then, Jen saw some folks she knew from college.
It was at that point, my new buddy followed me down a quiet aisle. He shared with me a personal issue he was dealing with and asked my opinion. As we talked I had an “unction” down on the inside to go a little deeper. The atmosphere was ripe for me to share with him God’s love for his situation.
There was a God-connection just waiting to be made. But because I never want to “witness” to people about my Lord and Savior without first establishing a relationship, I sometimes look up and find I have failed to take the initiative when the stage is set. I missed a golden moment to go further in blessing this new friend. These are the times when I thank God for His mercy and I dust myself off and prepare for the next opportunity.
Initiative is a beautiful trait. Every one of us is familiar with it in some capacity or another. But when it comes to spiritual growth and development, we need to be constantly encouraged to take the lead. I heard someone say, “Jesus has done His part on the cross. Now it’s time for us to do our part on the ground.”
There is a whole lot of truth to that. And since God knew we’d need all the help we could get, He gave his Rod (The Bible) and His Staff (The Holy Spirit) to guide and comfort us along the way (Psalms 23). When it comes to taking initiative, a college degree isn’t required, just time with the Father. And if you are like me and you recognize when you miss a cue or two, refrain from guilt and shame. Let the Rod and Staff work for you and you will be ready for the next go ‘round!
The Character First I WILL’s for Initiative:
I WILL do what is right before being told
I WILL not put off until tomorrow the things I can do today
I WILL contribute to the success of the whole team
I WILL be a part of the solution rather than the problem
I WILL look for ways to help others
Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 The Message Bible
Biblical Meditation: John 21:17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”