A funny, not-so-funny thing happened to me this week. (You know how I love to tell you my personal stories!)
I had a very busy week ahead of me, so I had a mental "to-do" list of what needed to be accomplished each day in order to stay on track. On Tuesday, I had various stacks of papers, binders, and folders on my desk. I was determined to get my tasks done - strategically placing all my materials in front of me and working in a particular order. (Some may question my strategy, but it worked for me.)
I was quite chuffed with myself that I was getting things accomplished. There was just enough stress to motivate me. And seeing the mental checkmarks ticked off my mental list, kept me going. I probably should've stopped ... to breathe ... and to get myself mentally prepared and gears changed for Tuesday night's Bible study. But I still thought I could manage one more thing. So I did.
I went to the bank to deposit the money collected from the week previous. When I returned to the office, I noticed a warm smell in the air - a hint of campfire with a woodsy-burnt aroma in the distance. Hmm ... that's interesting. Was that the heater? (It was chilly that day and I just put it up a notch.) Then I sat down at my desk to finish the deposit - preparing the receipt and the supporting documents to scan to divisional headquarters. But the smell seemed a little stronger. Was someone burning something outside? A campfire? A fireplace?
Curiosity got to me. I stood up and quickly walked down the hallway. I looked out the front door. Nothing. I looked out the back door into the garden area. Nothing. I peeked into the chapel. Nothing. Very weird. So I started back towards my office and sat down again. I tried to relax, switch gears, and go through my notes and lesson plan. But the smell was getting stronger. Actually, the smell was radiating from my desk! What is happening?!?! What is that?!?! I quickly started picking up the remaining stacks of papers on my desk. FOUND IT!
I had left a whole pile of bell ringer applications ON my mug warmer!!! If you've seen the applications, they are literally 34 pages long! And I had 6 sets - SIX - on top of my mug warmer. ALL 34 pages of the bottom application were singed - burnt or scorched - through with a 3-inch diameter circle! The paper clip was super hot to the touch. And the application on top of it was starting to warp with a faint singed circle. OH MY GOODNESS!!! That could've ended VERY BADLY if I had not returned from my errand. I shuddered to think what damage I would've caused ... but ... thank the Lord nothing worse happened.
Just that morning I thought my mug warmer wasn't even working because my coffee seemed like it was getting colder.
So, there are many different takeaways from this, but I'd like to make a positive illustration:
Just when you think you aren't making a difference, you are. The constant warmth that you emit in sharing God's love will eventually leave its mark. Don't give up. Better yet: When think that God is not moving, He IS! The constant, gentle pressure eventually makes its mark. And He is changing you, your situations, and your mindset. In the same turn, let's be careful to leave a positive impression on people around us.
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
"Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." (Colossians 4:6)
"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." (Colossians 3:17)