It's been a really great 24 hours. Nothing massive. Nothing even that big. Just the small things.
The small things that I am thankful for.
Because really, as the saying goes, it's in the small things… 😉
So, as at this present moment, I am sitting in a cafe, sipping ice lemonade, and generally just contemplating my thankfulness to God, I'm going to articulate some of these things in a type of chronological order and see what comes out. Could be interesting… Remember how much I love lists…
1. Last night I wrote a letter for my waitress with a word from God and some verses from Psalm 121 in it. I left it with the tip. Those people who have ever been anywhere for dinner with me know that either this (if the restaurant is busy), or offering the waiting staff prayer (if the restaurant is quieter) is something of a fun-habit. But I would actually recommend it. Because firstly, it means that you remember to pray for the person serving you as you wait, eat and go about your evening. Nothing too profound, but even if you pray a quick sentence, who knows what inviting God into the situation will do. Secondly, it gives you the opportunity to truly make someone's day. Because regardless of where they are in their faith journey, I've never seen someone not be stoked to be spoken to kindly, blessed in some way or made to feel special. So yeah, praying for your waiter or waitress… Let's start doing this more people!
2. My hotel is about a 40 minute walk from my Bible College… Which I love! Because it's great to begin my day in the hotel with the Word and in worship… But I really love praying outside. Praying for this city, for the people I pass. Singing Scripture on my merry-way. Just focussing my mind on God. It's pretty undistracted time. And I just enjoy it. Holding the hand of God and walking through Glasgow.
3. Finding a great coffee shop on the walk. I know, I know, me and my coffee shops. But now I've tried it twice I can officially confirm that this one does great coffee. And great tea. And great fresh orange juice. And it's owned by great real-life Italians. And the really great thing is that by popping in every morning, I get to talk a little more each day about why I'm in Glasgow and why I'm studying and where God is calling me to. I (I'm praying) get to be a blessing to this little place.
4. Getting stopped and asked questions about my clothing/accessories. Ok. Maybe this is really only one for the girls, but I get stopped sometimes (increasingly) and asked about my dress sense or my flower-bird-and-bright-coloured-accessories. Today it was about my iPad case. Someone actually was like, 'I love your iPad case… It's so pretty and unique..' And then they quickly scanned the rest of me… (Blue flowery handbag, green tights, patterned skirt, turquoise jumper, denim jacket, red-squirrel hat) and were like, 'Actually, you do kind of have a colourful theme going on..' And the thing is, any conversation like this is also an opportunity to share about the God who makes it more than ok to love colour and be free to be you. And if someone else initiates the conversation then…. 🙂
5. Walking in the rain. I love it. As long as I'm dressed appropriately. And today I was. And if you're wearing waterproof boots you can even tackle puddles (i.e. Jump in puddles… Maybe ;)) I don't know… Maybe that's just me.
6. In a conversation with a friend of mine I let slip that I could order my immense amount of T-shirts into three categories. Geek T-shirts (like Mario, Spock), Christian T-shirts (like my 'Drop Psalms not bombs' beauty ;)) and Dinosaur T-shirts (like, yeah…) From this they created me a personality profile WAY more accurate than Myers-Briggs. The email arrived in my afternoon's lectures and I actually struggled not to LOL. Literally.
7. Some really, really good quality lectures and discussion. There's way too much to fit in a single blog post, but the phrase that sticks with me from today is from my afternoon's 'Spirituality' class.
Recognising the image of God in someone else is a deeply spiritual activity.
And then we fleshed this out a bit. Honouring the image of God in others. Deeply listening to someone. Truly being undistracted in our time and energy with another person. Loving them. Putting aside our own insecurities and agendas and selfishness to really be with them.
And I thought about all the little things in my day. All the little conversations. All the little moments. All the people (little and non-little). And I thought about what it would mean or does mean to really recognise the image of God in them. And I came back to the reason for it all.
Because, I can't say this any more bluntly or any more truly. If I am hanging out with you or putting time and energy into a conversation with you, it is because I like you, I want to spend time with you and I value having you in my life. I like you! My non-Christian friends are not projects. My Christian friends are not projects. They are friends. You are my friends. Full stop.The random people I meet as I go about life each day are potential friends.
And Yes. I'm totally up front about this. I would love it if everyone in my life got to know Jesus. He's my best friend, my reason for living and the Lord of heaven and earth. I talk about Him a lot. I'm unapologetic about this.
But I really believe that recognising the image of God in people means that we are genuine in our relationships. Genuine. That we listen. Genuinely. That we honour. Genuinely.
And that we grow in love.
Love of God and love of people.
So… Thank You Jesus for all the small things.
Oh, and this is me post-puddle-jump… (Which I obviously didn't do because I am a proper grown up… Yeah, right!)