Having recently traveled by plane, trains, and automobiles along the western shoreline of the United States and Canada, we undoubtably have an amazing God. Theres no doubt when you see all that He has spun into creation, that we are a small part of His big plan. Tiffany and I had the privilege to take a group of 24 AAA members to the Canadian Rockies. Tiffany had taken a portion of this trip just a year ago and loved it so much that she worked tirelessly to take a group from Columbia to experience a small glimpse of Gods creation. I must be completely honest with you though, I was a bit leery to take the trip. I mean, traveling with a group of 24 people that I don’t know wasn’t a high priority of mine. And then to travel by train... well I just wasn't sure about that. I love to travel but I tend to be a Point A to Point B kind of guy. A get there fast and now attitude often accompanies my thoughts of travel. But, ever since I took my first step on the plane to Seattle, my mind has been racing and reeling over how amazing God is.
Tiffany and I took off on this journey from our home in Columbia and traveled to Charlotte to catch an early morning flight to Seattle. Instantly, upon our arrival at Charlotte Douglass International Airport, you can’t help but notice thousands of people are moving. Passengers, cab drivers, freight liners, security, parking attendants, airline desk associates, homeland security, stewardesses and pilots. Each tooth on the sprocket, in sync to create fluid movement. Each part is moving for the service of someone else. When we arrived in Seattle, Vancouver, Kamloops, Lake Louise, and Banff, it was much of the same.
In our everyday operations we tend to move flawlessly. We do exceptional work for our supervisors, we love serving those who wish to be served. We love receiving that amazing service as well. To be completely honest, we most often expect great service. But is this same expectation, is this same cozy feeling that we receive and hopefully give others the same feeling we strive for as we desire to serve God? Is this service only to check the box of our “holy” to do list? Are we prepared to give God unfiltered, untainted, selfless service because of all that He has given us?
I recently heard a speech by a former Navy Seal. He was addressing a graduating class at the Naval Academy and though what he said was simple, it makes so much sense. He said, “If you want to make a difference in the world, make your bed.” I was a bit taken back initially, because if thats all it takes then we need to show people how to tuck in the sheets. He continued, “Because by making your bed, you've completed the first task of the day. And by completing that task you now feel accomplished and want to complete another task. Those completed tasks start the falling of the dominoes to create a wave of completion. And if by chance, one domino doesn't fall just as it should and you go home defeated from a tough day, you see a bed thats been made. That bed then gives you hope for a better day tomorrow.” Brilliant! I was in awe of the simplicity of this speech and compelled to think about this a little more.
If we as a church, congregation, Christian simply made our “beds” for God everyday can you imagine the impact we would have? Not placing the pillows and sheets with a begrudgingly attitude, but striving for flat sheets and crisp edges... perfection. Can you imagine the impact of one simple completed task accompanied by another and then another? It seems like we often have a list of things we expect for the “maid” to complete, but we’re not willing to do a little house cleaning ourselves. I’m honored to serve alongside some of the best in ministry at Awaken, but we could all use a re-evaluation of why we serve and who we serve.
While on the plane in transit to Seattle, you see the rich landscape of the plain lands. Its absolutely stunning, geometrically perfect as each piece fits flawlessly side by side with the other. As we traveled by train to and through the Canadian Rockies we saw mountains and landscape that literally will take your breath away. A canvas that looks like the most beautiful paintings seen only in renowned museums. Mountain peaks that reach the top of a beautiful blue sky, snow and glaciers that span thousands of miles, wildlife with innocent intent and curiosity lingering amongst this inspiring creation. As we take all of this in we begin to ponder how we can avoid the simple things, the making of our beds, in thanksgiving to the God who spun all of this into creation. How do we get so blinded by ourselves that we let unfiltered service become a labor of selfish intent rather than a labor of love?
Tiffany surprised me by scheduling a trip to the Columbia Icefields where we stood on a magnificent glacier surrounded by the towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies. I stood on a one thousand foot deep block of ice and snow wedged between mountains that were millions of years old. Mountains that have been set in place one at a time by the fingers of God just as if they were pieces on a chess board. We ventured to lakes and rivers so blue you wonder if it can even be real. You see its clarity, its crisp perfection, flowing flawlessly in perfect harmony with the rest of creation. How can all of this not force us to take time for intimate reflection with God. How can all of this not make us hit our knees and ask God, “What more would you have me to do?”
Psalm 95:1-6 says: Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
It doesn’t have to take moments among mountains to begin moving them. Have you considered a re- evaluation of your unfiltered service to God? Have you considered ways to serve at Awaken Church? Would you?
Every thing we do as a church body relies on those willing to come along side other servants of God. We cannot do life alone without God. We cannot serve alone, we need others to join hand in hand, elbow to elbow, and heart to heart in love and service to our God. Service to the One who provides our next step & our next breath. Today as you sit at the table sipping coffee, on your travels on the highway, while you walk around outside, or gaze through an open window, take in all that God’s given you. That breath you just took, is a breath of hope letting you know that God will provide the next one. Just as that bed you made in the morning gives you hope when you need to rest your head, God is our safe haven, He's our comforter and our encourager. Offer yourself to Him, give Him your all as He’s given us more than we could ever ask for.