I think we all have those moments when a friend, family member or even a stranger wants our advice or opinion, and we think to ourselves, “why me”? Am I really the best person to share my thoughts on this topic? I just don’t know that I am.
This was me last night. Doubting, anticipating and questioning God’s choice of choosing me. I am going to meet a friend to talk about cultural relevance, Arizona culture and how to better forge a path of realistic expectation for an abundant life in our state. This isn’t something that I feel overly knowledgeable about and so of course, I turn to my husband for advice. He reminds me that it’s a conversation, listen, answer questions honestly, and be yourself. He reminded me that we are immersed in community building and loving our neighbors. Maybe this is what she needs to hear, ” no matter where we live in the world, no matter how culturally different all of us are, everyone understands love.” To be relevant in the world is an ongoing quest, but to be relevant as a daughter of Christ is to show and give love.
I began to ponder my own relevance in our state. That is a bigger question than I have an answer. I understand the struggle. When Dan and I began our adult life together we lived here in Arizona. We didn’t know our neighbors, not in our apartment, our first condo, or our rental house. No one tried to get to know us, to welcome us, to include us in their lives, and to be fair we didn’t try to reach out either. About 5 years later we moved to Iowa. We moved to a smaller town connected to Iowa City. From the time we purchased our home we were welcomed. We didn’t even live there yet, but we had a neighbor who kept up the mowing for our yard (1 acre). He didn’t even know us, but already he was loving and serving us. When we finally moved in a couple months later, within a week we knew or at least met most of the families on our street. We were invited to a neighborhood bbq in the first month. We were blown away, this was a different culture than we were used to for sure. It is amazing! We were alone with no family or friends, but somehow alone was the farthest thought from my mind. We didn’t feel alone, we felt loved. When we announced our move back to Arizona 5 years later, we were surrounded by friends, love, support and sadness. Arriving back in Arizona was a shock all over again. We moved into a rental house and no one even noticed, our kids started a new school and there weren’t many families reaching out to the new one. Mind you it was a very small school where people knew who the new families were. We then moved into our current house and it wasn’t any different. People just don’t seem interested in pursuing other people. When I describe our state, this is usually what I say, ” we are a state that opens our garage, pulls in, and shuts the garage door before even stepping out of the car”. There is NO opportunity to even see if your neighbors are out, let alone say hello.
We have tried to change this in our neighborhood. We started community gatherings in our driveway and they are amazing. We know all of our neighbors. Not only do we know them, but we are friends, involved in each others lives. It is a beautiful thing! So as I sit and feel ill-equipped, I am reminded that I understand a little more than I thought. I am reminded by Gods love and his words, that we are chosen for a reason. God knows what my friend needs to hear, and he knows that I will allow his words to ring as clear as I can.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
As I read these verses it was clear to me, I may be ill-equipped but God full of wisdom is never lacking. It is important for all to remember that no matter what the topic of conversation, if you invite God, he will come. Many of us feel ill-equipped in a lot of areas and conversations, but I think that many of us also forget that God is willing to meet us in those times if we invite him, and welcome his wisdom.
Pray for me please, to speak the words that God chooses for me. That I would be the vessel for his message. I in return will do the same for all of you.