I recently traveled to Costa Rica on a mission trip with my church, Highland Park UMC and I’ve been back home for exactly a week. As I smile, I realize it’s taken me a week to mentally process my experiences. Every time I tell someone about the trip, more facets of what I saw, felt, and heard come to the surface. I asked myself a question, "What is it about getting away from normal life for a week that is so powerful? Why do I get so much direction from the Lord when I get away for a week? Why is getting away for a week a sure thing for me?" I really think it’s because I want Jesus even more today than I did yesterday. Sound desperate? I’m OK with being desperate for Jesus. I need Him. I have faith that He wants to speak to me especially when I don’t have the other distractions of my normal routine. I do something really elementary. I ask the Lord to speak to me. When I know I’m approaching a week that I’m taking off from my normal routine, I say, “Lord, I want You to speak to me this week”. It works every time!
I’m not perfect with this, but on most mornings, I wake up around 5 AM, which is before my alarm goes off. I get up, because it’s impossible for me to fall back asleep, and I go to my music room. My music room is a room I’ve decorated according to my specific taste. I’m comfortable and extremely at home in my music room. I search for a worship song on You Tube and I start praying. I pray until I know I’m in the Lord’s presence. Then I hang out with God. If I’m going through trouble, I tell Him. I worship Him. I just enjoy being with Him. It has been my experience over the years that He’s always waiting for me and He leads me in the way everlasting in our time together.
In Costa Rica, the Lord turned on something in my brain. He lead me into thinking I should help other people pray and hang out with Him too. What am I afraid of? What successful person wouldn’t want to hang out with God and be filled with His great love before starting their day? I have a personal practice that helps me stay grounded, deal with stress, and get great direction. "Why not tell everyone I know?! While in Costa Rica, I had the opportunity to do some major construction on a building that will become a place where orphans can play and be safe. I had the opportunity to lead worship, with two of my original songs, in Spanish. That was amazing because I don’t speak Spanish but I figured God would do something awesome for people if I committed the time to learn two songs in Spanish. I just knew He would do something unbelievable – and He did! I had the opportunity to pray with the other people who were also on the mission trip. They had a great time hanging out with God and I guarantee you, they will continue to worship and pray daily.
The Lord has provided me with everything I need to be successful. Every time I lead worship, pray with someone, or share my testimony, I should give it every thing I’ve got as if it’s my last opportunity to do so. My life is covered with His grace and He is my rock, my foundation, as well as my guarantee. I have decided to do all I can to make the name of Jesus great in the earth. I’m not afraid to try new things, I’m not backing away from impossible things, and I’m certainly not turning back on doing things for Christ that may not make much sense. If it glorifies the Lord, I want to tackle it for the Him. “Get out there and walk – better yet, run on the road God called you to travel!” What is God calling you to do?
In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk - better yet, run on the road God called you to travel! I don't want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don't want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere, and mark that you do this with humility and discipline - not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences. Ephesians 4: 1-3