A mere two teaching days and one work day stand between me and Christmas Break. The light at the end of the tunnel is in full view now, and a childlike giddiness is growing inside me. Two full weeks off work! Are you kidding me? All should be so lucky. I try not to smile around my buddies who have jobs that work all the way up to Christmas Eve and then start back up on the 26th. As educators we are truly blessed with that extra family time.
Speaking of that extra time, what will you be doing with it? Amongst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we have Christmas parties, last minute shopping, family time, traveling, time with friends, and if you can fit it in, maybe some time for yourself. For me, Christmas Break is a constant flow of family, friends, and complete strangers waltzing in and out of my life. Amongst these individuals ebbing and flowing from my perspective, God gives me plenty of opportunities for spiritual appointments.
A spiritual appointment could be defined as showing others who Christ is through our actions. It could come with a close family member, a complete stranger, or even someone you know of but haven’t really connected with on a spiritual level. Anyone is fair game! Whomever God puts in our lives, we should attempt to share Christ with them. Matthew 5: 16 states, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Spiritual appointments allow us to do just that. Let’s look at some examples.
1. My good friend and colleague from work was on a walk last week. She was trekking down a path and came across a woman who looked distraught. God spoke to her as they crossed paths, she stopped in her tracks, and she called for that stranger to turn around. All she did was check in on her. Nothing intrusive. Just modeling for that gal a caring attitude that Christ would be proud of. My friend admitted that she felt slightly awkward, yet in her heart she knew she did right. And don’t you know God smiled down on that moment, blessing that stranger.
2. A buddy of mine from church found himself at Red Lobster getting carryout for his family. It was a quiet atmosphere, not too many people around, but a stranger approached him from behind. It must have been his welcoming attitude that led that stranger to empty his soul as they both waited for their food. After a solid five minute conversation where he asked questions about this stranger’s day, my friend asked the most important question of all. He asked to pray for him. Right there in the restaurant, he lightly put his hand on the man’s shoulder and prayed a prayer that God certainly heard.
3. Tuesday morning I was at the gym last week preparing to shower. The tattoo on the gentleman next to me was too intriguing not to ask about. He stated it was in honor of his 19-year-old son who died five years earlier after being rammed by a drunk driver. Ouch. I quickly diverted the conversation to his cross necklace, which he told me was his son’s necklace that he was wearing at the time of the accident. After admitting to me that he was currently not attending church, I asked that man if he believed in the healing power of Christ. He said he did. Tears welled in my eyes as I invited him to church.
The appointments God gives us with complete strangers are the ones that may seem most difficult; however, you never know how much difference it will make in someone unless you try. Don’t miss out on these precious opportunities God gives you. Paul states in Romans 1: 16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Don’t be ashamed of your faith. Be proud! Proclaim the salvation that saves! Take full advantage of every spiritual appointment that God blesses you with, because you never know who doesn’t have a church home and who could benefit from attending a Christmas Eve service.
(What is your story? Have you had any spiritual appointments in your life worth mentioning? Reply below and share with others a success story you know of.)