Are You Waiting... or Procrastinating?
Waiting is what you do when something has started, but hasn't yet ended. If you’re just driving around, even if you're not going anywhere, you would never describe what you're doing as being stuck in traffic. If you're waiting on something, the thing has to have begun. Once it's begun, there has to be an end or a next step.
In his book, Finding My Way Home, Henri Nouwen says,
“We too can wait only if what we are waiting for has already begun for us. Waiting is never a movement from nothing to something. It is a movement from something to something more. Those who wait (like Mary and Elizabeth) had each received a promise that gave them courage and allowed them to wait. They received something that was at work in them, a seed that had started to grow.”
It’s so tempting to play it safe and do nothing for anyone else’s soul. After all, we may think to ourselves, “I have my church, my Sunday School class or small group, my Bible, my salvation, my Heavenly Father to walk through life with.” It becomes all about me and mine. The problem is that Jesus didn't point us toward a ‘me and mine’ view of Christianity. In fact, He said we should abandon ourselves...even our mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters for the sake of others. For the sake of their souls. For the sake of the Gospel.
Start with prayer. Ask God who He wants you to engage with. You probably have a clue or two already. Then, start to pray for that person intentionally. It's amazing how God can change the heart of someone we consistently pray for. You may find that as you pray for someone, it becomes easier to love that person. After all, you can’t really “minister” to someone that you don’t love. Praying leads to loving.
Once you start praying, look for opportunities to serve that person. Unconditionally. Don’t make him or her a project; just make that person the focus of your attention and acceptance. Little by little, God may warm that person's heart and yours, both for each other and for Him. That person won’t ‘care to know’ about your faith, your God, or anything else until you show that you care for him or her as a person—as a friend. Let God lead you wherever He wants. If it's inviting that person to church, to join your group, to do a Bible study, to go on a short-term mission trip with you, or maybe just to have coffee every couple of weeks and about God, do it.
You can start with this short prayer:
“Wherever you lead Lord. I will follow. And I want to take this friend with us. Show us where You’d have us go”.
When we invest in others, for Kingdom purposes, something changes in us . Though we don't act to see change in us, it’s a sweet side benefit of following Jesus and not procrastinating in serving others.
Question: Are you waiting... or procrastinating?