“Madi, would you consider stage managing this show instead of being cast?” -said to me after an audition I thought I killed and landed the role.
“What about Blinn College?” -said to me as I was sitting in astronomy my senior year of high school on the verge of tears because I feared I would be spending the next year on my parent’s couch.
“Can I drive back to Dallas with you?”-I said to a random girl I had only met two days before.
“Hey, I think you should go to Nicaragua with us.”-said to me after a meeting I was at where I felt like I didn’t serve a purpose
“Would you like to come to my home for dinner so I can offer you a piece of advice?” -said after eavesdropped on my conversation
These sentences all have things in common.
- Every sentence happened with a person who was a complete stranger or someone I barely interacted with.
- Every sentence above altered my life in ways I can’t even imagine.
- Every single sentence was extremely awkward.
Have you ever been told something 10 times by someone you love and spend time with and value; and then been told the same thing by someone you don’t even really know but when the person you don’t know tells you- it actually resonates with you?
Stage managing a show was the most fun I had ever had after that. I wish I would have listened the first five shows I was told I should work backstage, instead of being offended and twisting words meaning “you should work backstage because you aren’t good enough for the stage” when the person actually was saying that I possessed good characteristics that would be helpful behind the scenes.
I think during the crazy that was my senior year of high school I was told I should try to go to Texas A&M like seven hundred times- okay, maybe more like five- but it didn’t stick until I was in one of those classes you didn’t pay attention in and my teacher, who I hadn’t ever really spoken to before suggested that Blinn would be a good fit for me- and she had a daughter who loved it.
I met my best friend because I had to ask her for a ride from College Station to Dallas after a weekend at a freshman orientation, trust me, it was so uncomfortable for me, and I was so irritated that my parents were asking me to ask for a ride. But we had such a good time on our ride back to Dallas, and now she is my person. (sorry I write about her a lot- she has taught me a lot of things)
After an unrestful first semester of college, a senior approached me (a silly freshman) about going to Nicaragua- probably because she simply knew the trip needed more people. But that mission trip sparked my love for missions. I will forever be grateful for that trip because for the first time in college I had seen my purpose.
After gossiping- yes about boys- at work my now mentor approached me because she knew her wise years could offer me help in not only the department of dating and boys but in digging deeper with the Lord. She taught me the importance of discipleship. But initially, I felt so taken back because she was literally a stranger to me offering me a free meal and conversation.
As a broken person and someone who loves her people so deeply, I tend to get really comfortable in my little bubble of friends. I could sit on my couch with the same four people and never run out of things to talk about. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t a problem with this- in fact, in so many of my posts before this, I talk about how prominent and touching this is for me.
But friends, I challenge you to reach out. I challenge you to talk to the girl who is sitting alone at the library. I challenge you to reach out to the freshman who seems a little lost. I challenge you to notice people. Let yourself be in situations where you are able to encourage others.
Three of the five conversations that helped me back big decisions in my life were with people I would never talk to again- maybe I should reach out and thank them. But two of the conversations led to two of my favorite relationships.
Maybe I am a little unrealistic- but I think we are afraid of rejection or altering our reputation or wasting our time so we pass up or don’t even notice moments we could love a stranger.
Are you using your time to build His Kingdom? Are you using your time to disciple or love someone younger than you?
Paul Commands us to,
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Eph 5:15-16
So what IS the best use of our time?
We will each answer that differently, depending on our stage of life, jobs, marital status, and what not.
But there are some practices God calls all of us to pursue, like —
study of God’s Word
fellowship with other believers
Clearly, these are some of the best uses of our time. But let’s be honest —This is not easy. We wake up tired — and sleep beckons. We come home from work or school — and the desire to binge watch “Fixer Upper” or “The Office” awaits. We’ve got a free Saturday afternoon — and a lazy day with friends and Facebook invites. And before we know it — another week is over, and we’ve barely prayed, connected meaningfully with other believers, or done anything to advance the Gospel.
So how can we obey Paul’s command?
The days are evil: The Fall happened. Sin entered the world. So evil exists. It’s ugly, dangerous, and aggressive. Evil is in Satan — who enslaves unbelievers and seeks to devour believers. Evil is in unbelievers — hardening their hearts to the good news of Jesus.And evil is in you and me — in our remaining sin — seeking to destroy us spiritually.
So be motivated to break the chain. Speak the gospel bolding and loudly to those who know nothing about you or to someone who knows everything about you.
So pick up your phone and text, Facebook message, slide into someone DM’s and go chat about life- go talk about Jesus. I prefer to do this over a cup of coffee- but I’ll leave that part up to you.