About Impact

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Living Examples of Jesus, Part 1

First of all, I know it is late and I know I just had surgery and have a ton of things going on in the next couple of weeks but I can’t sleep. I’m completely exhausted. I was studying late tonight and I’ve tried to sleep but it isn’t working. So I thought I would share a few things. After all I've been writing papers all day so this should make me tired because those sure did!

I'm trying to spend a little time each day reflecting on different parts of my life, trying to evaluate where I really am and where it is God is taking me. I'm hoping to discover a bigger picture of this season of my life. I am looking at the patterns I've found in the lessons God has been teaching me and the ways he has revealed himself.

The most recent topic of reflection is relationships. Today I've been thinking about several key relationships in my life. I've been thinking about the impact they've had on mine and whether I've been impacting others in the same way. I've been wondering if I've been the friend that God has called me to be. Am I noticing the opportunities to be Jesus to others? And when I do notice those open doors, am I walking through them and loving God's people? I'm praying that God will teach me to love more and be more compassionate towards his people.

As a result of my pondering today I've decided that I will write a little something about some of the people who have really impacted me in the last six months. People that I think have been living examples of Jesus and are making a difference for the kingdom. They won't appear in any order. Like my thinking it will be rather random. There is no way I would ever be able to write about everyone. These are a just few that stick out and most likely they are people who have kicked my butt in the process.

Jeffrey happens to be one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world. He is one of the brightest and most hilarious people I have ever met. When I think of Jeff I think of fun, honesty, and faithfulness. Here’s why.

Jeffrey is one fun kid. One summer I had Tuesday mornings off at the camp. I would drive down, meet Jeff at Harris Prairie, where he was working at the time, and we would head to Wendy’s for lunch. That quickly became a tradition that we did pretty regularly until just recently. These are some of my favorite memories with Jeff because we are real with each other. We can admit that we aren’t perfect and share our frustrations without the other one judging. However, sometimes it can become a contest to see who can pray better, who can throw out the most insults, or who can say the meanest things. I’ve never won a contest, yet I always am in a better mood afterwards. Go figure! Usually it is because I’ve laughed so hard. I can’t spend more than two minutes with Jeff without laughing. You can find several scriptures that talk about Jesus spending time with other people over a meal. I strongly believe that they laughed at many of those meals. I’m pretty sure Jesus was on funny guy. One thing I’ve learned from Jeff is that God gave us life and he wants us to enjoy it. It isn’t supposed to be a rigid planned out schedule that can’t be changed. Who knew?!

Jeffrey is honest, but always out of love. Jeff isn’t known for being “Mr. Serious,” but he knows there is a time and a place for it. He is never afraid to call things like they are. He might not ever share those thoughts with you, but when he does he doesn’t water down the truth. I’ve never had someone be so blunt and up front with telling me the things I don’t want to hear or calling me out on my mistakes. I have never walked away from those conversations feeling hurt or like any less of a person. Along with all of the hard truths comes love and encouragement. It isn’t very often you can be lectured by someone and then say, “Thanks! That was encouraging.” I think that is exactly how the woman at the well and the woman caught in adultery felt when they walked away from their conversations with Christ.

Jeffrey has been there every time I’ve need him and even when I didn’t know I needed him. This summer Jeff has taken the term “faithful friend” to a whole new level. He’s been one of my closest friends since we met, but we have never been the type of friends that call each other when something goes wrong at 1:30 in the morning. I never thought I would call him at that time of night and definitely never in tears. (I hate crying and don’t do it often especially in front of people.) This summer Jeff became that person many times, one week a couple days in a row. He didn’t once complain or joke about me crying. He was always honest, encouraging and willing to listen. Doing the inconvenient things and going the extra mile to make my life easier and make sure I was okay wasn’t something I asked him to do or expected him to do. He just did it like it was nothing. That is the kind of attitude I think Paul was referring to when he told the church in Philippi to have an attitude that was like Christ’s. Christ wasn’t selfish. He humbled himself and put others first.

I thank God everyday for Jeff and friends like him. And I pray that everyone can have people like that in their lives. I pray that God will keep teaching me to live a life that radiates his glory. Thank you Jeffrey for showing me Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. Friends like Jeff are a real gift. Especially if you can see each other regularly. I have Eric and Wally who can bust my butt but I don't feel I have anyone that close here in c-ville. A couple of possibilities thought.