I live in Kyle, Texas which is South of Austin and north of San Antonio on IH-35. I work in Round Rock, which is north of Austin... so I commute avout 40-50 miles each way daily. That means I spend a lot of time in the car. I like to listen to the radio and about 80% of the time, when I'm not listening to a CD, I'm listening to christian radio. In Austin, the local station is KFMK Spirit 105.9. I was listening this morning when they played their daily "Family Name Game" where they announce a name, and if you have someone in your family with that name, you call in and say something nice about them and if you're the first caller you win a little prize... usually gift certificates to a local restaurant.
Well.. this morning it was "Tiffany." The person who called in, while telling us about their Tiffany mentioned something that stuck. I paraphrase here:
"We're not called to try and change people. We're called to love them where they are in life."
That makes so much sense, and it's something that many Methodists (and Christians in general) don't follow. It's pretty simple, but hard to follow. It's how I try and live my life... not always successfully.
- Accept people where THEY are. Don't try and make them come to you.
- It's not your job to change people. God changes people... you can talk about faith and how it applies to YOUR life, but don't assume you know how other should apply it to theirs.
- If you're so inclined.. invite someone to your church worship service... but don't force it on them.. that only makes you sound and look like an overbearing Christian... because that's exactly what you're doing.
I am a Christian. I am a Methodist.
I also enjoy the same things most other folks do... I like to have a beer or two, I enjoy Austin music, I'll eat it if you cook it, for the most part, and I'm always looking for something that makes me smile and laugh. I like to goof off with my daughters, make my wife smile, and I use my twitter feed many times as a place where I publish steam of consciousness funnies that I think of during the day...
I know I'm not called to change people directly. I also know that my presence might be one of the pieces of the puzzle that may help someone get to where they need to go on their faith walk. When I'm out playing Co-Ed Kickball for my church team (The Kyle United Methodist Church's team PRAY BALL) I know that for a good number of the people out there... our interaction with them may be the only church they get that week.
Be a piece of the puzzle.
Be a vehicle that helps deliver God's Grace.
Be an example of a Christian living in the world today.
I'm not perfect.. I'm far from it... this blog is as much a reminder for me than it is a story for you. Thanks for reading.