Friday, August 10, 2012

LIFE LESSONS: What's It Worth?


LIFE LESSON: What’s It Worth?
by Cheryl Simpson

I have been casually enjoying the Olympics, watching highlights for about an hour each evening. I have my favorite events and even picked out several heroes that have trained well to get where they are today. Olympian swimmer Mark Phelps intrigues me as I think about his all-time Olympic record. The beach volleyball team has now reigned over three Olympics. What an inspiration!

However, What’s it all worth? Where do they go from here? The beach volleyball team says they are done. Mark Phelps has said the same. I would love to meet them and sense their hearts. What do they value? What’s next? What means more to them than a gold medal?



”Calling the crowd to join his disciples, [Jesus] said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat: I am! Don’t run from suffering: embrace it. Follow me and I will show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for? (Mark 8:36 MSG)”
This brings to mind an experience a friend shared with me of an encounter with a man at Meijer. She was tired after working a long, stressful day at work. Naturally, her goal was to get the items she needed as quickly as possible and get out the door…an in-and-out trip.

However, God had a different plan. When she walked by the beer and wine section, she saw a man who appeared distraught. As she went past him to get her few items, God nudged her heart, “Speak to the man.”

She argued with God, “Someone else can speak to him. I’m in a hurry.”

God was persistent, so she approached the man. She told him God loved him and had a purpose for his life. Tears rolled down his face as he told her that he planned to end his life that night. He had a gun in the car. He stopped at the store to buy liquor to help carry out his plan. He had given up hope because he didn't think anyone loved him. He felt like no one cared.

My friend was God's spokesperson, offering hope and a future to a man who thought he was all alone in this world. She brought light to a dark situation. Imagine if she had not been obedient to God’s leading!
 
 
As I watch the Olympians receive their honors, medals, and accolades, I envision my dear friend on the victory stand. She delivered hope, and just in the nick of time! She has won a gold medal in the sight of God. Great job, faithful servant. What you have done is of great worth. "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away (I Pet 5:4)."



Dear Father,
Teach me what is of value in your eyes. Help me to truly see people as You do, to sense the needs, the hurts of their hearts. I pray for those who are feeling hopeless, unloved, unlovable. Give them hope and a future. May we seek you and find you when we seek you with all our heart.

Lord, I want to hear you. Place your words in my mind, on my lips; words that will point others toward you. Help me to be obedient to speak when you say speak. Pilot me this day. Lead me on Your path. Let your light shine through me in this dark world. In Jesus Name, Amen.


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Cheryl is the grateful wife of 36 years to Ken. They have two children and five granddaughters. Previously a public school teacher, she now spends much of her week doing pastoral care for her church, Newark Church of the Nazarene.  

She is a wonderful Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!




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