When I got there, I was setting up my display table when a man and his wife came in. It turns out he was a volunteer from the Gideons and they had driven 4 hours yesterday and stayed overnight so he also could speak for 15 minutes in that morning service. (okay, Lord, I repent). Oh, and the church was planning on having a sermon by the pastor also! It turns out the pastor cut out his sermon and just gave a testimony about the impact the Gideons made on his life instead (good move, pastor).
It's amazing how God always pulls me up short when I start thinking I'm sacrificing for Him. Pictured above is Oxana Moore who flew all the way to Erie from South Carolina after a full work week to speak for 15 minutes at our Operation Christmas Child packing party last month. That's another reminder of true sacrifice.
God's Kingdom work is impossible to evaluate. The Bible says "Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart." God sees not the number of miles we drive nor the number of shoeboxes we generate--He sees the condition of our heart and what we do with the multiple moments during each day when we get to choose whether to focus on Him or to be distracted.
I looked at last year's numbers and realized the church I was speaking to today had done only 15 boxes last year. So I took along 22 boxes to give out and thought that would be plenty. As it turns out those boxes were snapped up within a few minutes and I could have given out many, many more. I need to be more prepared for what God will do.
This coming week is jam-packed full with OCC 'stuff' again. Tomorrow night I drive to Bradford to speak at a missions' conference, Wednesday we have our OCC area team meeting and start folding boxes for the packing party on Friday. Thursday is set-up for the party and Friday evening we're hosting the packing party again and hoping to pack 1000 more boxes.
In the midst of it all, I don't want to lose sight of what's really important. God isn't looking for miles traveled or boxes packed. What He wants is a living sacrifice and a sacrifice of praise.
God, teach me what it means to follow you in sacrifice.