Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)
TITLE: Revise Me!
By Pam Carlson-Hetland
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As one of the leaders of the adult singles group at our church, I was finding the time and effort involved in organizing events and Bible studies much more demanding than I had anticipated. Thinking that we would all be like-minded in our endeavors was quickly squelched as personalities arose. I soon realized that I was working with a wonderful group of the walking wounded. We came from all situations: widowed, divorced, and never married. The age group spanned a generation: late 30s to late 60s. Every individual brought with them the hurts and fears, hopes and dreams stemming from their personal life experiences.
Still shivering in the cold car, I mentally ran through the details of tonight's activity and planned the set-up once I got to the church. I also contemplated who would be on hand to help. Some were willing workers. Others wanted to only participate in the fun but not the organizational aspects. There were frequent personality and priority clashes among the participants that I was frequently called upon to mediate. "Why do I even do this?" I muttered to myself.
I sighed as fatigue pressed in. With teeth chattering, I prayed aloud, "Lord, please revise me." Then I burst out laughing. My lips were so numb that they didn't even pronounce the word right. I meant "revive" but said "revise." Somewhere in my spirit, I recognized that I truly did speak the correct word. My attitude needed to be revised as much as my body needed to be revived.
Tonight's activity was a favorite--Comedy Night. We brought our favorite Christian comedian videos and DVDs to show on the big screen in the social hall of the church. I was glad to see a few men show up early to help push all the couches and chairs together in a semicircle for viewing. Women gathered at the snack table displaying their trays of delectable goodies, the smell of fresh popcorn filled the air. There was an excited buzz in the room. Friendly greetings were called out to newcomers. Hugs were given and returned as new and old friends met for the evening. I was starting to relax and join in the merriment.
One of the men stood up and called for the opening prayer. All heads bowed and hands folded or held others' hands. He asked for a blessing on the fellowship and on those who had organized the event and prepared the food.
As I expected, the event was successful. Laughter rang throughout the building. A few others in the church even came to investigate and stayed to join the fun.
I had positioned myself in a corner so I could quickly change the DVD and keep an eye on the snack table for bowls that needed to be refilled. A little voice inside said "Look around. See them?"
From my vantage point, I saw that on the periphery of the laughing crowd, smaller groups of two or three had congregated. There was the dear lady who courageously struggled with clinical depression bent over in a deep belly laugh at the scene on the screen. She was flanked by two of the strongest encouragers in our group who laughed with her. At the snack table, two women were in solemn conversation. Surprisingly, the one who normally vied to be the center of attention was consoling the other lady in tears. And in the back corner, one of the men--a former missionary--appeared to be counseling another man from the group. They bowed their heads and prayed together.
"This is why you do it–because of them." the little voice concluded.
The evening ended all too soon. Many hands helped to clean up afterward and restore the social hall to its normal state. There were good-bye hugs and plans made to repeat the activity as the group filed out the door into the cold winter night.
On the way home, I realized that the Lord had answered my request. I had truly been revised and revived. Despite the frigid temperatures, I was warmed by the companionship and ministry of those who share a common faith.
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