You ever have those days where you just feel like you’re right where God wants you? Yesterday was one of those days for me.
There was some kind of pastors deal at Salisbury Christian School. We have two boys in our church, a fourth-grader and a second-grader, who go to SCS, and they invited me to come.
I took a wrong turn on the way and ended up getting there half an hour later than I’d planned. But like I started out saying, I think I was right where God wanted me even as I was driving around Salisbury (on the wrong side of Rt. 50, I might add).
When I got there, I was met in the parking lot by Christi, who is one CrossWay‘s long-time members. She works at SCS and her two sons are the ones who attend there. She showed me to her oldest son’s classroom, where I visited for about 10 minutes. Then she led me to her younger son’s class, where again I only had a few minutes since I’d gotten there late.
At 10:30 we headed to an all-school assembly. Wow. It was excellent! The first thing I noticed was the setup in their gym. They had turned it into a top-notch auditorium, complete with what looked like an orchestra pit! There was a huge screen that had cool visuals on it. I got to meet some other pastors as I sat waiting for the assembly to begin.
When it started… wow, I loved the worship time! After an interpretive movement by some younger kids, a youth praise band led us in a couple songs and did a great job leading us into an awareness of God’s presence. I felt so refreshed! They were followed by a couple songs performed by the chorus. “Performed” isn’t even the right word, because like the praise band, they were leading us in worship.
The last part of the worship service–I’m giving up on calling it an assembly, because it was a worship service–was a very challenging message by one of Salisbury’s pastors. Again, I was totally caught off guard. Sorry to sound cynical, but when I heard there was going to be a speaker, I expected one of the school’s administrators to give some spiel about the value of Christian education. Instead we were given an obviously anointed preacher who gave us the Word of God! It totally rocked. His message was so challenging and convicting, and I’ve already been able to incorporate his teaching into my prayer life.
It kept getting better. One of the highlights for me, probably the highlight, was during the pastor’s message. There were several hundred people in the room, lots of kids and lots of adults. Seated on the floor in front of me was a large group of younger children, including the second-grader from CrossWay. I was in the second row of chairs behind this group, so he didn’t know I was there. When the pastor was talking, at one point he asked rhetorically, “So how do you become a Christian?” Right in front of hundreds of people, this second-grade boy immediately shot up his hand! He was ready to tell the whole world how to become a Christian! It was one of those moments where my heart jumped in my chest and I said, “God, thank You for letting me be a pastor.”
(Don’t get me wrong: This boy is so wise and bold not because I’m his pastor, but because his parents are sincere and passionate in their own faith, which they have incorporated into their parenting with amazing success. But to see him raise his hand like that, ready to tell the world how to find salvation in Christ…wow… I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.)
After the worship service I went to the cafeteria, which again really impressed me. It was large, clean, efficient, and…well… souped up. It made me wish I went to school there! I sat with the fourth-grader while he ate. He cracked me up, by the way. All his friends were talking around him, while he just sat there eating his lunch. At one point I said something to him about how he seemed to take his food pretty seriously, and he smiled wryly and said, “Recess is for socializing.” Kid’s got his priorities!
Having lunch with him was one reason I’m glad I got there late. If I’d arrived on time, I would have left after the worship service. Instead, I felt obligated to stick around. I know the word “obligated” doesn’t sound pretty, but that’s how I felt. You know what, though? It taught me something. There are times I do something begrudgingly, out of obligation, and it turns out to be a huge blessing. I’m so glad I shared lunch with that fourth-grader. It was very much a blessing, a blessing that I wouldn’t trade for anything else I could’ve done during that time. There are incredible blessings that God has for us in the things that we initially do out of obligation.
My day still was not done. As I was leaving, I went to sign out. But there was a dude leaning over the signout sheet, talking to someone in the office. I almost just left, figuring it didn’t really matter if I signed out, and I didn’t want to interrupt the guy’s conversation over it. Kinda awkward, you know? I turned to go, but then felt like I should just say a loud, “Excuse me” and sign out.
So I did. And I made a friend. Half an hour later we were praying for each other out in the parking lot. Turns out this guy knows everyone I know. We had a great talk and then prayed. As he prayed for God to pour out His blessings on CrossWay, it started raining. It was a very encouraging conversation and a new friend made, and I would have missed both if I had not been late and if I had not stuck around for lunch.
I’m trying to do a better job of being in tune with the Holy Spirit, going where He wants me to go and doing what He wants me to do. (Interestingly, that was a big part of what the pastor preached about at the school.) When I listen to God’s quiet nudges, it can make a big loud difference!