I love traditional Advent readings. There’s no reason to try to replicate them. These are some of my thoughts about what the advent of Jesus’ birth means to the reality of living with-God.
No one is invisible to God. I googled how many people there are for God to know-because why wouldn’t I think google has an accurate number?
The numbers from my google research are mind-boggling: The current world population is 7.7 billion (as of December 2018) and more than 108 billion people have been born in the history of humanity.
Whatever the real number is–it’s certainly big. And, it’s huge to think that each person is a big-deal to God. Whether we realize it or not, the whole reason we are here is based on the relentless love of God. The first God-word of love which went deep within me is John 3:16. The Passion Translation says it so well:
For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.John 3:16, TPT
These words are profound, especially when it’s understood that the love of God is specific to each individual.
Eternal One: “Remember who created you, O Jacob?Isaiah 43:1, Voice
Who shaped you, O Israel?
See, you have nothing to fear. I, who made you, will take you back.
I have chosen you, named you as My own.”
“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.”Isaiah 49:16, NLT
When we live the with-God life, we have the opportunity to reveal God’s love to everyone we encounter–to value and see the best in an individual, even if, the connection is for a short amount of time.
Experience has been my teacher. I’ve been invited to sit at many tables with leaders in ministry. I have felt valued by those who go out of their way to know my name and invite me to the conversation. BUT. I have also experienced times when I took a seat at a table without anyone taking the time to know my name and ultimately excluding me from the conversation. These experiences have taught me the gift of being valued and the shame of being invisible.
Both experiences have formed the belief that to live the best life includes knowing the names of the individuals I encounter throughout the day, regardless of how many names need to be learned. The effort to know and remember a name speaks volumes of my attitude and belief about an individual, which is an important piece of loving everyone and anyone. So the following is one of the ways I exercise loving everyone– if, this is new–think about it–if, you already do this–awesome.
So. I’ve often wondered how many people feel invisible when they are serving me.
The thing is . . . it’s so much fun . . . to interact with people who may feel invisible to the people they serve all day-long.
I started thinking about different places I’m served, like grocery stores, coffee shops, drive-throughs, and the list goes on. In my perspective, you and I are assigned to make a difference wherever we go through the love of God.
The first step is to pay attention to the person. So. I try to learn the name of the individual serving me by simply asking: “What is your name?”
It does not seem like a big-deal in the moment. BUT. Simple things often open the door to some powerful moments.
Anyway, I’ve found I need to intentionally pay attention when an individual says their name by using the technique of repeating it during the conversation. Because. I often need to stop thinking about whatever seems to be the most pressing matter. The individual in front of me is the important matter of the moment.
I’ve learned to repeat their name immediately to make sure I have it right, which also helps me to remember it.
By the way, I’m always surprised how many people visibly brace themselves as if, I want to know their name because I am unhappy with them. I think our culture has become so negative that people assume we think the worst of them.
There’s a condemning spirit in this time and era. And it’s invading our lives. It’s time for break-throughs so individuals will be released from condemnation and be free to live their best.
I try to find something unique about a person and attach it to their name, which is one of my “remembering” tools. So, if, the individual’s name is Ron . . . and he is friendly with a smile . . . I will say: “Ron, I can really use your smile today–thank you.”
Using Ron’s name in our conversation changes the dynamics of the connection–internally and externally for not only him but myself. A conversation easily starts with a basic question, “Ron, how is your day going?”
At the end of our interaction, I say their name to thank them: “Ron, thank you for serving me with such a great attitude, taking the time to talk with me. You have made a difference in my day. Thank-you.”
Gregg and I were talking the other day about how easy this is to do and how it blesses us to connect. It’s amazing how much people will tell about themselves in a short amount of time because they feel valued. I believe somehow in a small moment of time, both the person and I have experienced the “more of God.”
In the end, the days of advent lead to the “more of God.” I’m praying that you have amazing encounters with people as part of your advent experience. It’s God’s more–Kerrie
By the way . . . Joshua Lindley and I will be launching tablethink in January 2019 . . . with the invitation to sit at our viritual table for inspiration and innovation as you invest your life in living your best. If, you have access to the Salem, Oregon area we hope you will stop by between noon and four at our open house on December 16. For details see https://tablethink.com. I will keep you updated on my public Facebook page @https://www.facebook.com/kerriecarlislepalmer/
Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED