…by Tina Hines
This STRONG Challenge has really been a good series to help us grow in our spiritual journey. From kicking off the series with the thought of a PLAY day all the way to the final week of SERVE…..they were all great reminders to those of us who have been a Christ Follower for a long time. These rhythms were good to put into practice. And if all of these things like PRAY, TRAIN, and STUDY were newer to you – then you’ve been given a gift of starting your spiritual journey with great habits.
The community group I’m in decided we were going to follow along with doing a continued study outside of the Sunday morning teaching. A deck of cards giving us challenges and a way to set these rhythms were so helpful. Stopping to pray to God asking that He’ll show me someone to serve….reminds me to stop and listen to God, to be more aware of His promptings to serve someone in need. Being a “Blessing Ninja” was another cool way of serving someone anonymously…..we were challenged to make a list of people and possible ideas of how to serve them and again spent some time with God praying over how and when.
Being able to put back into practice the thought of “Go ahead, I can wait” came when I read the challenge card “First, Be Last”…. how can I be last today….really helped me slow down and not go through this life too quickly – letting someone go in front of me in lines at stores….and when driving my car. It has become too natural to want to be first and not enough natural submission. Submission and service need to go hand in hand.
The last card I read in the Challenge Deck of Cards…was the foot washing card. Thinking about Jesus bending down in a humble, submissive posture to wash His disciples’ feet…was like reading a love story. Jesus didn’t just tell them what to do but He showed them what to do.
Have you ever been part of a foot washing experience? I was reminded of a very recent experience with a neighbor lady who paid me to come help her tie her shoes, take out her garbage, gather mail, grocery shop, do laundry and wash some dishes….since a fall had left her with an arm in a cast. I didn’t expect that every other day, I’d be washing her feet. Kneeling below her I could see it was somewhat embarrassing to her to have asked me to do this task. As I gently washed her foot, and powdered in between her toes…put on a fresh stocking and her shoe for the day…she repeated, “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry to have you do this”. I smiled up at her and winked and said it’s okay, I don’t mind.
This experience came to mind during the teaching on Sunday about two ways we grow as we serve: One; by developing a posture of love while we serve and Two; by practicing it. James reminds us: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
I hope these PLAY, PRAY, TRAIN, STUDY and SERVE Rhythms stay with you as you journey with God.