Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Being Available

Today was a jaggedly productive day. Lots of unexpected events kept me hopping; nothing too unusual or unbearable, but a lot of surprises. I got up early, had some good study and reading time, spent a good chunk of the morning organizing the results of an awesome Programming Team meeting yesterday, created an accompaniment track for a three-minute church talent show performance, had an impromptu yet fruitful lunch meeting with a co-worker and then stopped to kiss the proprietor of Powhatan Music & Sound.

I took a deep breath there, transitioning towards a planned afternoon at the office. Often, Wednesdays are tight with rehearsal prep, but I'm not playing this weekend, and that gave me a little breathing room. I planned to come into the office and work on a few projects; intentionally, there was nothing calendared. I try to leave two afternoons a week open for meetings - making myself available in case something or somebody needs some attention.

More and more, I'm finding that scheduling some "open" time leads to all sorts of meaningful encounters.

As I prepared to walk out the door of my husband's store, a woman from church walked in. She had a minor question - or so it seemed - but it masked a much larger issue. We sat down to talk, and the tears flowed.

An hour later, my heart was full of the kind of satisfaction that only comes when you feel like you did something really worthwhile with the time you'd been given. I listened, and I affirmed; I encouraged and shared a bit of her sorrow.

And I think it mattered. She was grateful, and she was smiling, with a sense of purpose, I think.

And I had a greater sense of purpose as well.

Sometimes I think the biggest part of living a life that matters is simply being available.

I'm glad I was today.

I feel a little like Paul - not that I measure up in any way, but these statements resonate strongly with me after a day like today.

"This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details.....I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities." Ephesians 3.7-8 (The Message)

Are you available?


Anonymous said...

sometimes the greatest gift you can give-- is to listen. You done good :)

Brandee Shafer said...

Absolutely. I've loved every moment moment you've ever made for me. :)

Sydni J said...

We had similar moments today momma! Today, I led a team if 6 from Michigan around the city and ended up waiting for two hours at Union Square for the rest of the mission team and interns, but there are no coincidences in Christ! God totally used that extra time and just... Wow! I honestly have no words. I love that we had similar days, talking with and being used by God in a context of building relationships!