Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stepp'n Forward

"If you take that first step into the unknown;
He won't let you go;
So what are ya wait'n for? What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities are trying to hold onto you;
You were made for more...."

About three weeks ago I started working at an excellent job. You might as well know, the jobs is at Menards. I work in the wonderful-sounding "Wall Coverings Department."
Sound glamorous? Well, one doesn't realize that part of the wall coverings department is Pet-'N Grocery.

It's a good job, don't get me wrong! It's good money for good work! I'm learning stuff (like what a... uuhh.... what is it called??... stuff about Hardware that I didn't know before :-D).

There are a few people who I like hang'n out with (such a relative term when it revolves around body-building-type-work). Some really moral, decent, good, hard working people. People I can relate to, really, which is totally awesome!
In my department, however, there is the looming possibility that I'm the only Christian (committed or non)... a rather... intimidating type of possibility. I know for sure of two other guys in the store who are Christian.

I have also noticed in my jobs previous this one that, whether or not your in a Christian environment, one does not talk about their faith. Period. The end. Don't even think about discussing it, 'cause you'll just get a really odd looked, and probably marked a "prude."
So, I have fallen back to the strategy the other Christian's (who I have no doubt are there) have taken to. This strategy is brilliant! It should be patent! And oh so easy to! And the entire process takes four simple steps.
A) Silence.
B) Don't react (ever)
C) Continue your secluded, lonely, silence.
D) Don't overtly act like your a Christian.
Disclaimer: Don't worry. They'll figure it out any way (if you're walkin' your talk). Just try not to be too prudish.
Simple, huh?!
Thought it would be real great to just follow this procedure and get around the fact that we, as Christians, are called to "go and make fishers of men."
Thought I could totally get away with the whole Jonah idea, and hide from my calling (as a follower of Christ.) Thought it would be simple to fraternize with the "other side" of the world, without actually having to be, act our my faith in overt ways that those around me obviously see.
Ladies, and gentlemen, please don't try this at home, work, or anywhere else.
"The Truth" will most definitely "set you free." And "there is nothing hidden from the Lord."
God thoroughly laughed at me. In my face, rather hysterically, if I didn't know any better.

Listening to Britt Nicole's, "The Lost Get Found" before going to work on Friday, I was thinking it would be so incredibly easy to continue my hiding, and not come out and admit that, "yes, I'm basically enmeshed with the church. Grew up in it, worked in it, ministered with it, and committed to it! Yup! That's me!"
The irony of God's timing is brilliant. Really! He ought to be a comedian!

Friday evening, one of the guys who works in Hard Ware (which is next to my department) came over to talk for a couple minutes, during a "dead as a door-knob" time. The typical, "how's work? Ya enjoyin' it," type of stuff. Not rocket science or anything.
But then, oh to my amazement, I cringed. The next question, whose answer I wasn't ready to totally scream to the rest of the world, but a skeleton that I couldn't very well hide in the closet much longer, as it was beginning to become more of a nuisance than help.
"Where did you work before this?"
I cringed. And, I'm sure, my sudden halt in lifting the over-sized dog-crate box up the ladder was more than obvious to this acquaintance.
"Uuhh.... Welll.... I worked in child care." HA HA!
"Oh. Where?" *all smiles*
Darn. It didn't work.
"At a church."
Now, one must remember that talking on the job is something that is heartily looked down upon by the managers if you are a good worker.
By this time, the guy from Hard ware had begun to edge his way back to his department, so it was really hard to tell what exactly the "oh" that followed meant. Despite my utter confusion to this not-at-all-strong, rather-apathetic-reaction, I have found it's one that actually kind'a common here. Sort'a, and not really.
People either react with raised eye-brows, and a disapproving shake of their head, followed by retorts of, "Christians are boring," "you never do anything," "you're a prude," etc., etc. Or a non-reactive-reaction.
The latter is far less common, and terribly annoying.
Especially when there isn't even a hint of bias.

"Don't let your light go down; Don't let your fire burn out;
'Cause some where, somebody needs a reason to believe.
Why don't you rise up now?
Don't be afraid to stand out! That's how the lost get found! That's how the lost get found!
So if you get the chance, are you gonna take it?
There's a really big world at your finger tips,
and you know you've got the chance to change it."

~ Britt Nicole, 'Lost Get Found'

Britt Nicole's new CD has been my new favorite, and constant reminder for
who I am,
who God is,
and what He expects me to be.

a) Follower and obeyer of His commands and words
b) A Fisher of Men.

Which reminds me of my all-time favorite Sunday School Song,
"Go and be Fishers of men, fishers, of men, fishers of men... Will you follow me? Will you follow me? Will you follow me? God and be fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men.... And follow me..."
We used to sing that every Sunday when I was little, in the South West. My Sunday School teacher at that church was committed to the calling of going out into the world yet not being of the world and inviting people onto the The Way of the King, through our thoughts, words and actions.

In all my previous jobs, I was "a Christian" by default.

This time, I'm a Christian, on the job, with a mission, and a deep conviction, by choice.

Which means that all that I think, say and do must reflect that.

The whole concept of Prudishness is an absolute must to a committed Christian's decisions in life.
The call of evangelism demands a higher standard, a standard you hold yourself to.
A standard you don't ask of others.
I'm sorry, this sounds prideful, doesn't it? I'm just trying to process through some stuff!
But as followers of Yhwh, we have no choice! Christ never said, "uh, yeah, if you find that one thing really hard to believe, than don't worry about it!" He makes it very clear that "Believe me or not!" "If you are not for me, than you are against me..." And again, "there is no way to the Father except through Me!" Malachi states this way back in the old Testament,

"'They will be mine,' says the Lord of Hosts, 'on the day that I prepare My own possession,
and I will spare them as a man spares his own sons who serve him.
So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked,
between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him."
(Malachi 3:17-18)

I'm not saying anything about those who are on both sides of the fence (necessarily, but certainly not pointedly). I'm just stating, that one must decide one way or another. I happen to decide to be proactive in my faith, rather than it being a fall-back, or something I do when my mental and emotional states of being switch to auto-pilot (when things get stressful). Not to say I wasn't committed before, just another step in the grand scheme of things.

One step at a time. One foot in front of the other.

"You look around, it's staring back at you;
Another wave of doubt will pull you under;
You wonder: What if I'm overtaken,
what if I never make it,
what if no one's there?
Will you hear my prayer?
When you take that first step into the unknown;
He won't let you go!
What are you waiting for?"
Both the beginning and ending quotes are from Britt Nicole's "Walk on Water," from her "The Lost Get Found" album (2009).

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Warmth for Winter

* Burnt-orange nail polish
*feather-down, fleece-lined blanket
*Hot "English Breakfast" tea, if a tsp. of whipped honey
*Pictures of tropical islands
*knitted scarf
*An adorable puppy to sit on your lap
*blazing fire
* Basic Message Oil
6 tsp. carrier oil of your choice
8 srops of essential/ fragerance oil of your choice
Blend the two together, well. Warm up the oil before using - make sure to message between your fingers and your cuticals.
.... any questions?