Thursday, January 28, 2016

Holland Tunnel!

DH and I got to attend a worship conference together this week. It was so nice to get away for the day with just him and to worship and be refreshed together. There were some amazing speakers and insights--I laughed with Mark Hall from Casting Crowns,
 I cried with Steven Curtis Chapman as he shared his heart,
and I chewed on the insights from Montel Jordan.
 But before I even entered the room the conference was being held in, the Lord had an interesting encounter for me...

I was standing in a hallway type area waiting for DH as he took something to our car. As I was standing there, a lady walked up to me, no introduction.

"Where's the restroom?"

I glanced down at my lanyard,
 wondering at first if she thought I was a volunteer, but then realizing every person attending the conference was obviously wearing the same thing. Thinking maybe I had heard her wrong or just wasn't understanding if she was actually talking to me, I looked up at her and replied, "Ummm...I'm sorry?"

(Lady) "Where's the restroom?"

(me) "Oh...ummmm...I don't know."

(Lady, laughing) "Well you better find out!"

I was so caught off guard at first, but then I realized my obvious "great with child" stature. I replied, "You're probably right!"

(Lady) "I figured if anyone would know where the restroom is, it would be you!"

I nodded, looked around, spotted the restroom, and pointed her in the right direction.

As she walked away, I couldn't help but chuckle to myself as I immediately recalled a Brian Regan bit that my family has quoted multiple times. (It was a total "Holland Tunnel!" experience!) I re-told the story to DH, we laughed, and then we headed into the conference to find a place to sit...

In that first session, the speaker talked about how there is a difference between "leading" and "directing." He said, "If you arent in the presence of God, then you're only able to direct people to God, rather than LEAD them to Him." He challenged us, asking if we were giving the right impression of how to get to God. I couldn't help but think of the lady I had just recently encountered. I had given her the impression of being someone who would know the answer to her question, but I was honestly just as lost on the matter as she was! I then found myself thinking, "If I am giving the impression to the world that I'm a Christian, I sure better know how to lead them to Christ!"

You see, so often we wear the shirt, we quote the popular Scripture passage, or we share the "right" articles on our facebook wall, giving others the impression that we are followers of Christ. It's easy to just point someone in a general direction, but if someone were to start following me around, where exactly would I lead them to? Would I lead them to that flustered place I often find myself in when it seems none of my children are listening to me? Would I lead them to the chair I often plop down into when the exhaustion of trying to do it all hits me? Or would I lead them to the foot of the cross?  I think we often think the foot of the cross is found at the place where we have our quiet time, or at the alter at church, but I was reminded this week that the foot of the cross is anywhere. You see, we don't have to invite God to join us each day--He's already there! As Montel Jordan spoke, "We are called to RECOGNIZE God's presence!"

So where can I find Jesus? I find Him at the kitchen sink when I'm doing dishes...I find Him at the dinner table when I'm eating with my family...
I find Him in the living room when my kids are playing...I can even find Him at the bathroom of a worship conference! I can find Jesus anywhere, but the question is, am I acknowledging His presence in every aspect of my day? Because when I do that is when others will be able to find Him, too.

As someone who leads worship alongside my husband, I truly do pray that I can be a part of leading God's people to His throne, but I realize that doesn't just happen at our church--it has got to happen at my home, too! So my desire is that my children will see me acknowledging the presence of Jesus in our home, and that they'll desire to follow me to His feet. Because when I'm acknowledging Him in all of those mundane, every day tasks, it's a lot easier to show patience and love and joy and grace to my kids, because I have the very essence of those qualities right there with me. Jesus isn't far away--He's always waiting to meet with us. The question is, will we acknowledge His presence? Let's not just direct others to where He's at--let's lead them...even if that means to a bathroom stall! ;-)

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