|YOU! Yeah YOU...Get off the bench!!!|
YOU! Yeah YOU...GET OFF THE BENCH!!!
I just returned from attending Donald Miller's "Storyline" Conference in San Diego, CA. To me, this conference was perfect timing in my life because God has been turning the pages of my life and I'm officially in a new chapter! What a great way to begin this next chapter of my life!
So you're probably asking the question "What is Storyline?" Basically its a 2 day intense conference about "finding your sub-plot in God's story" (Donald Miller). It helps bring clarity to your life when you seek to answer a few questions:
1. Who are you?
2. What do you want?
3. What conflict must you engage?
4. What's the plan?
5. What are the stakes?
The most important of all the questions we had to ask ourselves over this weekend was this:
"What will the world miss, if you don't tell your story?"
I chose that picture above, because my best friend Sameer, in our time of sharing, said, "We have to do something now because before we know it, we'll be drawing social security!" We both know how quickly life passes us by and we both want to make an impact with our lives! I don't want to be on the bench advising other people to go for the things their heart desires because I didn't follow my heart and take risks. I want to be that old lady on the bench cheering people on telling them "if I did it, you can do it!" At the end of my life when the credits roll, I want to know that my story made a difference! I don't want my story to have been hijacked by something stupid!
One of the assignments we have (this is going to take me about 10 days to complete) is to create a timeline of our lives and then create a life theme. Now, while I'm not quite sure what my life theme will be yet, I know that once I see the positive and negative turns on my timeline it will become clear. I know that one of the things that resonates within my heart, as far as a life theme, was something that Mike Foster, Chief Chance Officer at People of the Second Chance said in his time of sharing. He said "be a cheerleader for those who no one else is cheering for!" As long as I can remember, I've always been for the underdog because I relate so well throughout my own personal life journey, and I know by experience, how much it meant and still means to me when someone cheers me on and truly believes in me with no other agenda than to see me live what's in my heart!! I guess that's why I'm so passionate about seeing people live their dreams - especially those with the stakes stacked against them!
Which leads me to tell you about my friend, Sameer. He is one of my biggest cheerleaders! And while he will totally be embarrassed by what I'm about to write, I'm writing it anyway! Sameer has been in my life for fifteen years. He's my best friend, my mentor, my cheerleader! He literally has invested his time and money in my life! He believes in me! He has always believed in me and supported my endeavors. He actually created my first website all on his own and surprised me with it back in 1998. He had heard my testimony and that was what started this life long friendship we have. I later shared with him that I wanted to write a book and when I finished it, he pre-edited it for me and gave me his feedback. He is an amazing writer by the way!! Follow his blog at www.withfavor.wordpress.com. He is also the one who blessed me with this trip to San Diego! He said he had been looking for a way to bless me and what better way than to invest in the next chapter of my life in such a profound way! The fact that he and I were able to share this adventure together, made it one of the best times in my entire life!!
One of the things I've realized over the course of the last few months is that I became ok with sitting on the bench up until this past October! A divine discontent as I refer to it, started to stir in my heart a few years ago. The need to really make a difference began to push me! I silenced my voice to support others in sharing their voice! While that's not a bad thing, and my heart was truly in the right place, there came a point when I realized that I had forgotten that I really had something to say!! I realized I was sitting on the bench and I was meant to be playing the game! I want my life to be meaningful! The world missed out for a long time because I decreased so others could increase! Again, this is not a bad thing because I think that is necessary at times and the Bible instructs us to do that. However, you must surround yourself with others who also recognize that they must decrease so you can increase! It must be reciprocated. That's one of the things I love about our Supernatural Saturday team (this is the worship team God put together and has had me lead). We need each other!! I decrease so that they can increase, and they decrease so I can increase! This is a must in the body of Christ! This is how God designed it! I was approached by several people at one of our Supernatural Saturday Nights of Worship and they said the same thing: "Tammy, I love that this is not just about you - not that it ever was (quote), but I love that everyone is using their gifts and talents and touching the body of Christ in the way that God has meant them to." That was the most incredible compliment I have received, because that my friends is my heart!!
I share that with you because I want you, YEAH YOU...to get off the bench! You've got something to share with this world! You have dreams inside your heart that must be lived! The world needs your story! I reflect on one of the many things Donald Miller said - "God is asking us, what do you want to do with your life? Let's dream it together!"
I also want to repeat something Donald said, because I believe it strongly: "Jesus is not a product!!" The Kingdom of God is NOT a corporation! You are part of God's story! God has given you agency to change the world!
Again I restate the question......What will the world miss is you don't tell your story?