It’s an early Saturday morning and my wife has left for work. A moment ago I came in from bringing in today’s wood for the woodburner and making sure that a good fire was going before grinding some beans and brewing a pot coffee. I opened all of the blinds so that I could enjoy the sunrise and then poured my morning cup of “joe”.
However, this morning as I picked out my coffee cup I found that I had some interesting connections with the mugs in the cupboard. I was reminded that each one has a memory or two attached to it. I tend to be rather picky about my coffee mugs. I won’t buy them at yard sales or take them from a vendor, usually. Over the years I have hand selected each one. The one that I am drinking from this morning was purchased after I received the “all clear” from my eye doctor after my fourth surgery to restore my sight. It was a celebratory mug and I remember how God provided the most excellent doctors and nurses that I could have hoped for. Not to mention a supportive family who were patient with me through my long recovery.
I have many mugs with many memories attached to them. One is from our honeymoon, though it has been packed away since we broke the matching mug. I typically buy a mug when I go on a special vacation with the kids or a special trip with my wife. I have two sitting on my desk that have been relegated to pen duty since they each have a crack and I refuse to discard them. One is from Round Lake Camp, where I went as a kid, served as a dean, and most recently led a retreat for our Discipleship Group Leaders. The other mug is from a trip that my dad and I took to Cabelas a few years back. In my cupboard I have a metal camping mug that I used to leave on our woodburner to keep warm while we played cards with our friends. My smallest mug is from a furniture store that I had worked at as a woodworker as well as a salesman. This mug recently reminded me that by the time the store was closed and the owner moved to California they had sent out at least three employees into fulltime ministry. I’m not sure that they will ever know the impact that they made in the Kingdom by providing us a place to work and share our faith.
By now you are probably wondering how long is this guy going to ramble on about coffee mugs? Fear not as there is a point to this little devotion. I have two questions for you today. The first, what memories do you have about special people that have shaped your life in a positive way? The second is somewhat weightier than the first. What are you going to do with the investment that these people have made in your life?
I was recently reminded that I have a deep responsibility to carry on the torch of friendship, love and, discipleship. Each one of the memories that I have shared with you were life changers. Some in small ways and others were monumental. However, the bottom line is that I have a calling to pass on what has been offered to me.
We were created to have connections. Often times our excuses of inactivity in the lives of others are based upon our laziness and/or fear. We tend to allow the fear of rejection, failure or lack of knowledge to sidetrack our God given call of love and friendship.
Here are a few reminders that I needed to hear today when it comes to investing into the lives of those around me. First, people reject God daily so if they reject Him of course there is a chance that I may be rejected as well. It’s a risk worth taking. Second, someone took a chance on me and helped to mold my life. I would not be where I am today without those encounters both good and bad. They have shaped me and molded me. Third, we are leaders by design. There will always be someone looking to us for some sort of direction. If a parent then your child. If a boss then an employee. If an employee then a customer. If a coach then your team. On and on it goes and it never stops. Someone is always watching you and taking their cues from your daily walk. You most likely are already impacting the lives of those around you. Are you making the kind of legacy that you want to leave behind? Are you being intentional with the time that God has given you? Every encounter is an opportunity to invest in the life of a person near you. Don’t waste it today!
Ps. My wife asked me to slow down on the mug purchases as our cupboards are full. But that won’t stop me. I have a big desk and a lot of pens that need a home. Now what kind of memory am I going to make today?
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
Romans 1:8-12 (NIV)