Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day 162- A Challenge First

We spent most of the day driving home from seeing family in La.  I sometimes hear people pray for "traveling mercies" and whatever that is I think we had them today.  We had a very pleasant trip.  On the way home, we stopped to eat in Mobile.  Pretty often when we eat at a restaurant, either Laura or I will tell the server that we are Christians and we pray before our meals. Then we ask them if there is anything they would like for us to pray for them.  Today while we were looking over the menus at I-Hop (the kids requested I-Hop today for a special treat; I think they saw a sign), I asked Hannah Grace if she would like to be one that asked the server if we could pray for them.  She said that was a bit scary but readily agreed. We encouraged her to practice what she would say when the server brought our food to us and she knew just what to say. I challenged Hannah Grace to ask our server if we could pray for her today for my "first."

Hannah Grace was nervous.  When the server brought our food (Brandie) and asked if there was anything else she could get for us, Hannah Grace spoke right up and said, "Mam, we are Christians and we pray before our meals.  Is there anything you would like for us to pray for you?"  She did not stutter or miss a word even though she was nervous.  The waitress lit up and say something like, "Yes, anything and everything.  You can just pray about anything and everything for me."  She seemed delighted that Hannah Grace would ask. We were proud of Hannah Grace and I think she was pretty glad she accepted my challenge.

When we paid for our meal at the cash register, it was our server who was working the register.  She thanked us for praying for her and said people hardly ever do that.  I have never had a server tell me that so it seems that Hannah Grace made a better impression on her first time at doing this than I have in all the times I've offered to pray. 

I really did not know if Hannah Grace would take up this challenge or not. I was very glad she did.  Sometimes we need people to challenge us to step outside our comfort zones. If you think about it, it is when we step outside our comfort zones that we grow. We grow very little if we are not stepping outside our comfort zones.  If we just do the things that we are comfortable with, it is very likely that we will become stagnant.  At the least, we will be coasting and a friend of mine likes to say you can only coast downhill.  In other words, if you are coasting, you are not growing.  I have found it very healthy to ask myself where am I coasting (not growing) at fairly often.  There are numerous areas of life that one might be coasting in:
  • Relationship with God
  • Relationships with important people in our lives
  • Health
  • Giving
  • Intellectual
  • Prayer life
  • Bible knowledge
There are plenty of other areas as well.  The Bible talks about growing and stretching in Philippians 3: 12-14 which states, " Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Those verses sound like a man who is not content in his relationship with the Lord. He sounds like a man who wants more and more to get to know Jesus better and to be used more for His purposes.  Paul, who wrote those verses, knew the Lord pretty well it would seem to me.  So, why not challenge yourself to grow? If you can't think of an area you need challenging in (really??), ask your spouse or close friend.  I know they know one.

Stretching for the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. Hannah Grace accepting the prayer challenge
2. Blueberry pancakes
3. Crepes

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