Let your light shine…even accidentally

26 05 2010

One of my good friends at work has the responsibility to send out weekly customer service tips.  This week’s edition began: “Is it really Tuesday?  It’s time for another tip!  Trouble is, I really don’t feel like writing one.  Ever have one of those days?  What do you do?”  She went on to explain the importance of choosing to display a positive attitude rather than letting a negative attitude get in the way of success.  I think most people would agree that is good advice.  It’s also encouraging to know I’m not the only one who has an occasional case of the “I-don’t-wanna’s.”

This morning I was reading over some old emails.  I found one from John that he had sent the Wednesday before I ran my second full marathon.  The email brought to mind a number of different emotions.  We hadn’t been dating very long, but already John was a constant source of encouragement.  He already understood the mix of pressure and excitement I was feeling leading up to the big race.  Though he hadn’t run a marathon himself, he had witnessed the discipline, focus and training that are required to run 26.2 miles.  He found the perfect words for me – words that transcended running and bled into my life; words that had the power to stop me in my tracks and change my direction.  

As I read through the email and remembered how I had felt when I read it for the first time, I decided to pass it on.  I sent the following email* to my friend who just yesterday had a case of the “I-don’t-wanna’s.”

 Subject: Don’t feel like it?

Maybe you have seen this before.  John sent it to me before my second marathon, but it’s also really perfect for those days when we “don’t really feel like it.”

You are a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. You have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. You’re a disciple of His and you won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.  Your past is redeemed. Your present makes sense.  Your future is secure. You are finished and done with low-living, sight-walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.  You no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotion, or popularity. You do not have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.  You now live by faith, lean on God’s presence, walk by patience, are uplifted by prayer and labor by power.  Your face is set, your gait is fast, your goal is heaven. Your road is narrow, your way rough, your Guide reliable, your mission clear.  You cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. You will not give up, shut up or let up. You will go on until Christ comes, and work until Christ stops you. You are a disciple of Jesus Christ.  BE LIKE THE MOON AND REFLECT THE SON.

The response I received: “Wow.”  Later that morning, she was telling another coworker (we’ll call her Kay) about the email.  “Forward that to Kay,” she said.  If forwarding the email was the only thing I was trying to accomplish at the moment, perhaps I wouldn’t have quickly forwarded the email to THE WRONG Kay.

Moments after hitting SEND, I send an email to the wrong Kay that basically consisted of sorry-I-sent-this-to-the-wrong-Kay-please-disregard.  In an attempt to shine light into the lives of a few people around me, I had accidently shined “outside the lines.”  Later, I got a response to my sorry-I-sent-this email: “I’m glad you did.”

When there’s something that changes you, something that defines your life and who you are, and you run after it with everything you’ve got, I think eventually you just start to bleed that.  Good or bad, encouraging or toxic, you bleed that something into the people around you whether you’re conscious of it or not.  You bleed it on purpose and sometimes on accident.  What are you bleeding into the people around you? 

Sometimes I’ve wondered how I’m supposed to shine.  When?  And where?  It’s so easy to let the whispers of “I can’t” or “I don’t feel like it” or “I’m not good enough yet” get in the way.  But if you really want to shine, even if you don’t quite know how, sometimes I think that’s when you shine the most – even if it’s just by accident.  Maybe the “wrong” Kay wasn’t the wrong one at all was she?  Be like the moon and reflect the Son.

Philippians 1:6

*The content of the email referenced above is a paraphrase of “The Fellowship of the Unashamed,” which was written by a young African pastor and found after he had been martyred.  What does it mean to you?  As always, you can leave your comments below.




3 responses

27 05 2010

Wow! I had never read the fellowship of the unashamed, but that was so powerful. I have an “I don’t wanna” moment at some point everyday. Every morning for the past two months I’ve been saying that I was going to get up and start running before I began formally training for a Half Marathon with a group on June 10, but I keep hitting my snooze button at 5:45am. Even though I’m not necessarily that tired, I just don’t want to get up because I don’t have to. I tell myself its not like this is a job or a must…it’s my choice, but its something that I really want to do to change my life. I need to post this blog on my wall. (smile)

28 05 2010

Your blog post was forwarded to me by my best friend. Thank you for posting this I needed it! and thank you to my best friend for sending it to me!

28 05 2010
Dani M Tanner

Glad you enjoyed it!

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