here I am, send me!

Another great day at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. Craig Groeshel attempted to describe the IT that some churches have, that nebulous something that we sense when God is present and powerful. Chuck Colson challenged me to be a defender of the truth, the biblical worldview centered in Jesus. Brad Anderson (CEO of Best Buy) struck me as a very down-to-earth, ordinary (yet extraordinary) leader. Bill Hybels finished with a powerful description of Mother Theresa, and challenged us to carte blanche surrender. But the highlight for me was Catherine Rohr…

What impressed me about Catherine was her simple surrender to Jesus, giving up her big money job in New York to work with inmates at a Texas prison, teaching them business skills, training them to use their entrepreneurial skills for good, for God (read more at the website). She is witnessing and participating in transformation, and the Lord is blessing her work. When I hear her, I realize that nothing is impossible for us, when we use our skills with the Lord to bless others.

She was led to work with people that everyone else (including herself) saw as hopeless. She loved them, expected the best from them, and offered her skills to them. She treated them as real people, with real opportunity and real needs… and she offered what she had to offer. She became like them, not better than them. Is this not what the incarnation is all about?

She became desperate, investing all that she had in this venture. She did not just get rid of all that she had (how we often understand Jesus’ words to the rich young ruler, “sell your possessions”), she invested it into her calling. This is what the Lord is asking of me too. To invest my time, my wealth, my possessions, my gifts, my education, my imagination, my heart… in the kingdom work of blessing others in Jesus Name. I too need to become desperate (see yesterday’s reflection) in order to experience God’s amazing provision.

The Lord can use me to make a difference, if I surrender myself and my all to Him. That was what I left with, after this summit. The words that we closed with were Isaiah’s words, “here I am, send me!”  That is what I needed to here, to be challenged with.

Thanks You Lord, for this renewed calling. Here I am, send me!

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