Wednesday, September 21, 2011

It Begins With Me

So I'm sitting in a hotel room in Frisco Texas after a long day at the D6 Conference. It's been great. Why am I here? To glean as much as I can about Family Ministry...after all, the conference is based on the passage in Deuteronomy 6 that talks about the home being the place and the parents being the primary faith trainers of their children.  Seen it, read it, preached it, used it, love it.  What a great passage!  And it's even been a source of frustration when I can't seem to get why parents won't step up and make it happen.  It's your responsibility. (notice I didn't say "our"'s easier to point the finger isn't it?)  But I had one of those epiphany moments today... but not necessarily out of the blue.  You see, it's been stirring in my heart lately, over the past few months I'd say.  It just all came crashing in on me today. You know how sometimes when you get away from normal everyday life, things sometimes get clearer.  So here it is...

"Hear O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your strength.  (are you ready?)  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts..."  Ok, stop.  This is the part when I normally jump to verse 7 and start harping on parents to do what comes next... "impress, talk about, etc. etc."  But wait...don't miss what it says.  They are to be upon your hearts...oh yeah, and mine.  Have I heard this before?  Yes.  Do I know this already?  Of course.  Am I practicing this?  Hmmm.... Do I love the LORD with all of who I am and do I know His Word myself?  Am I equipped to lead my own family?

OK, so then here's what popped into my head.  When will I know enough?  When will I feel prepared enough?  Am I going to be equipped enough (in my own mind) to effectively lead my family, let alone others in the church?  No way!  So what do I do?  I guess it's time to throw in the towel, right?  Why bother if I can't do it all the way.  Then I realized this... when I surrender myself to Him daily, when I "abide in Christ" as John 15 talks about, when I make it a priority for ME to love HIM more than anything or anyone, He will equip me just enough to lead those who are following.  I can stay a step ahead and bring them along.  Do I need to be miles and miles in front to lead effectively?  Do I have to have all the answers?  Will I ever feel prepared enough?   What about the old school game "follow the leader"?  How far in front was the leader?  Just steps, right?  Close enough for those following to see, hear and be in relationship with the leader.  Am I leading from the front?  Do I know where this crazy train is headed?  Do I have direction?  Is my compass pointed to True North?  Am I "in Christ" enough to follow His lead as He uses me to lead my family?  Wowzers!  Humbling to say the least.  Now what?  My family, my ministry, my vocation, my goals, plans, dreams, all of won't matter one stinkin' bit what I accomplish, how important I think I am and how many great things happen on my watch if I don't lead out of a place of humility because of the grace of God through Christ.  If I don't love Him with ALL of me, then I won't be worth following.

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