Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Change the View!

My good friend invited me to a Global Leadership Summit being held at her church last week. This conference was simulcast to tens of thousands of people across the U.S. and even more worldwide. To say I walked away inspired would be understating it.

All summer I've struggled with feeling too busy, too tired, too everything! Moving to a new town and starting over is wonderful, but it's also intimidating. My viewpoint had narrowed until I could only see the stresses before me. The conference changed that. It forced my eyes back open to this vast world, and my heart smiled at the view.

Don't get me wrong, the speakers spoke of terrible injustices, persecution that brought tears to my eyes. But they also spotlighted the amazing work God is doing through leaders throughout the world.

One woman helps free enslaved people in India. A man shared how he and his brother, as teenagers, founded a non-profit organization to rally youth to help fight injustice around the world. We heard from church leaders, political figures, and others who dedicate their days building God's church through the talents they've been given.

When it was over, instead of looking out of the tiny crack I'd been seeing life, I shifted to stare out the picture window. If anything, I am reaffirmed in my belief that our lives are not our own. We are all called according to God's purpose.

I haven't been called to do foreign mission work. I haven't been led to sponsor a child. I don't see myself in the roles many others currently fill. But that doesn't mean my part in building God's church is any less important.

God says in 1 Corinthians 12: 14, 18-19 (NIV) "Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body."

And just as I honor my role, I also pray about it. I pray that God leads me to know and fulfill His will. I've noticed that one step often puts me on a path I didn't plan, but each mile brings me closer to where I'm supposed to be. It's good to pray each day to make sure we're where God wants us.

Does your view ever narrow until you can only see your problems? Can you pray today for God to help widen your view? You won't regret it!

Have a fantastic Wednesday!


  1. Oh, this was encouragement I needed to read today! For the last few years, it seems like all I've seen is the American church bickering over internal differences, or politics, or promoting rules over love. I've started to get jaded and feel like the church has forgotten our primary function - to love God and love people. So it is amazingly good to be reminded that no, there are many, many out there doing just that. And we writers, we have our own small but vital part to play, too!

    1. I know what you mean, Louise. It's funny, though, I believe God sees ALL Christians as vital parts of His church. Whether it's a kind word to a stranger, showing integrity to our kids, telling the truth, giving money to our church, sharing a casserole for a funeral--we are working for Him. :)

  2. Oh yes! I have a tendency to focus on all the negatives, on what I still have left to do instead of what I've accomplished--instead of what God has accomplished through me. And instead of on the blessings He's laid at my door. There are so, so many.

    1. I am the same. I think it's human nature! That's why I'm so thankful my friend got me out to the conference. God knows when we need a different venue!

  3. Yep, it is SO easy for my view of life and the world to narrow down to my little slice of own world...and forget there's a bigger world with bigger callings. And I can live out that calling right where I am. I want that wider view!

  4. Great post. I fall into that trap too. This is a great reminder to refocus my vision on God.

  5. Loved this post, Jill.

    I have been struggling with being too busy, then too physically exhausted and dealing with incredible back pain - so much that I'm on paid medical leave from work since the beginning of the month. The first two weeks it was doctor visits and an view was narrow until I went to church last Sunday. God gave me a new prescription for some wide view glasses! Just a visit, some worship, prayer, and a great message widened my view. When I came out of the service, I saw blue skies again. I could breathe again.

    Oh yes, God always puts us back on track to His calling for us. We can miss it if we're not paying attention and narrowing our view.

  6. I love the proverb that says a man plans in his heart, but God orders his steps!

  7. This post gives one encouragement and I love that! You have to look out new windows to go to the next step in your life. If you don't look out the new window, everything will almost be the same like yesterday. In the end, don't narrow your view but widen it as much as possible. :)

  8. Still working on getting my Internet fully functioning, so I apologize about not using the "reply" buttons!

    Melissa: I nodded through your comment, and I have to add--I don't always see my callings as anything special, but God does. Every tiny piece of the body is there for a reason and serves a purpose. Just because I'm not the "brain" or the "heart" or whatever, doesn't mean my role is less. :)

  9. Julie: I love that idea of refocusing our vision on God. Yes!

    Loree: I am SO sorry you're dealing with such terrible pain. I'm adding you to my prayer list. Physical pain throws me into a narrow viewpoint faster than anything. But how inspiring that you were able to forget the pain at church. Love it!

    Jessica: That's one of my faves too. It has been so true in my own life!

    Livia: So true! And, while yesterday might have been good, tomorrow could be even better. We just have to keep an open mind. Smart!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!


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