Friday, July 22, 2016

Bingo, the Senior Center and an attitude change....

Tomorrow is the fourth Saturday of the month.  To you, that might not mean anything, to me it means Saturday morning at the Senior Center playing Bingo. 

Every month, we head on over to the little downtown close by and play several, many, games of Bingo with a group of people who have a hard time seeing, hearing and oftentimes communicating.  It is sometimes exhausting and other times frustrating, but I know it is where I am supposed to be.

I am not going to sit here and lie by pretending that on the fourth Saturday of every month, I jump from my bed when the alarm sounds, with a huge smile on my face because...I don't. I typically let out a frustrated sigh as truthfully, I just want to stay snuggled up to my husband and sleep a little longer.  I want my morning to be mine. 

Last month was a bit of a game changer though.  Last month, we went alone.  There was no one to join in this time and we were left to handle the game and the dozen seniors waiting to play.  I woke up frustrated and annoyed that we had to go and were having to go alone.  

But then my attitude began to change.  My husband and I walked through the doors and were greeted with so many smiles.  So many happy to see us.  Thankful we were there. And suddenly, I felt small. Selfish. Frustrated with myself for only thinking of myself.

As we began to play, I looked around the room at the dozen or so people intently listening for the next number to be called and wondered, who shows them love?  Who visits them? What is their story?  I wanted to know. Then I looked over at my husband as he sat beside one of the older women and watched as he talked with her.  My heart exploded with love.  

I realized that morning that there is nothing greater than loving on those who need to be loved. I also realized that walking along side of my husband in ministry is one of the greatest blessings I have ever known in my life.  It isn't always easy but the way it allows our relationship to grow and blossom is worth more than any Saturday morning spent in bed.

This past Sunday, our pastor talked about service and worship. One of the things he said was this, "Worship should always precede the work, not the other way around."

Those words were powerful.  I have such a strong desire to love on people. I want those around me to experience the love and presence of Jesus the way I have.  I want those around me to know Him the way I do and desire to sit at His feet and worship. 

However, the people I want to love on are those who are hurting the way in which I once hurt. Women and children who have suffered at the hands of abuse or those trudging through the throes of divorce wounded and scared. I want to show them the hope and love that comes from walking with Jesus and allowing Him to lead through the dark times.  That kind of worship, that kind of love comes easy for me.

Sitting there playing Bingo last month I was overcome by the question: "How could God allow me the privilege of serving and ministering to those women and children hurting if I couldn't do something as simple as playing Bingo once a month with those who are lonely?"

Then a passage from Luke jumped out at me....

"If you are faithful in small-scale matters, you'll be faithful with far bigger responsibilities.  If you're crooked in small responsibilities, you'll be no different in bigger things."

I have great plans for myself but I recognize that the plans God has for me are so much greater than anything I could put together on my own.  So for now, I will continue to linger at His feet, allowing His love to consume me so that His love will flow through my life and into the lives of those who need love.  And with that, I will choose to love on those He places in my path because there is truly nothing greater than loving those who need to be loved and being loved by the ONE who loves without condition. 

So worshiping at His feet, I choose to stay.