Saturday, July 5, 2014
In the grand scheme of things, we are actually just bit players, "extras" if you will, in a full-length feature film about God. I was reminded of that this week at work in a VERY impactful way.
I work as an architectural draftsman at and A/E firm in The Fox Valley. I draw plans for some of the buildings you might see if you traveled to our portion of God's creation. My "office" is a 9'x10' cubicle in a honeycomb of other cubicles - all a part of the larger "hive".
Late Wednesday morning I was down in our print room picking up a set of drawings when Terri, a friend of mine, and a sister in the faith, called out to me.
"Hey, Bob. I think this is for you," she said, handing me an unopened envelope. This is how it was addressed:
Attn: "Christian" Architect
On the way back to my cube I thought, "Well, I am not an architect. But I AM a Christian. I'll open it and if it's for someone else I'll just deliver it. I wasn't really expecting what I was about to get hit with. But that is often how God works in our lives - in unexpected ways.
There was a letter inside the envelope. This is what it said.
To Whom it may Concern,
This letter is written to the architect in a cubicle that has Jesus magnified throughout. The architect that collects cans.I briefly worked for your cleaning service at which time I had really been dealing with a lot and enduring some very difficult times. I am inspired by the spirit to write this letter to you to let you know that your empty cubicle was a source of light on some very dark days. It testified even in your absence. It was, for me, a reminder that I was straying and a source of strength and contemplation. I just figured that if I didn't write this letter you would never know that the stand you are taking for Jesus Christ has impacted me. As I entered your cubicle to dust and clean my conscience began to ring out and because of you I was faced with the truth when at the time in and on a path where the truth wasn't present. Again, stand strong in Jesus. Our stand affects others in ways unimaginable.
. . . wow.
I looked around at the contents of my cube. There on the floor was the collection of cans the guy wrote about (Diet Pepsi). There was a wooden cross from my daughter, a stringer of "Jesus fish" from my best friend and on my 60th birthday, a picture of me and my youth leader buddies taken at a Power of One concert. There was a picture of Essie and me, my Native American friend from a mission trip, a picture of Tara, my friend working for God in Australia. There were notes about God from kids I had taken to Lifest, another Christian music event.
This guy Travis had definitely been in my cube.
The last thing my eyes settled on was a box, made for me by my best friend Gayle. It was made out of an old cardboard record cover. The words on the album jacket read "The Works of God."
I stared at those words for a moment - "The Works of God." And as I scanned my eyes around my cube again I began to realize I was not the star of this movie I was in. God's Holy Spirit was the main player in THIS one.
All of the faith-based items were given to me - by others and by God. I had just chosen to display them. Or was it God's Holy Spirit wanting me to display them, saving them for the day Travis walked into my cube?
I felt very humble at that moment, and honored, that God would choose my cube to witness to someone else about who He is. It had nothing to do with me, really. And that was the lesson I learned in this. It's all about God and HIS glory, not mine.
I was listening to a message that afternoon by Ravi Zacharias. He was speaking about worshiping God and the sermons our pastors give to us in church. Dr. Zacharias said this . . .
"Our sermons are first worship to God. If there is anything in them that is self-aggrandizing, it must be removed. It is not serving anyone but ourselves."
The same can be said for each of us and the lives we lead. We are told in scripture to examine ourselves daily to see whether or not we are walking in the faith. If there is anything that diverts our focus from God during our service to Him is should be removed. And if there is any thought that WE are impacting other people's lives through our sermons or our witnessing or our daily lives, we should remove those thoughts as well. I learned that this week. It's all God. It's all Jesus. And it is all His Holy Spirit. The Trinity gets all the credit, not us. We just get to witness it. And what an honor that is!!
"4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." - Titus 3:4-7