Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tell them now

I think we can all agree that waiting is not how we like to spend our time.

  • Waiting in line at the check-out counter
  • Waiting to hear back on that job interview
  • Waiting for test results from the doctor

If we had it our way, waiting would be non-existent.

  • First in line
  • Immediate feedback
  • Instant results

Alas, we cannot rush through the waiting in most cases. And often, it is in the waiting that we grow and learn and develop into who God wants us to be.

On the other hand, we CAN avoid one type of waiting. You know, that thing you tell yourself you'll get to one day when it's more convenient or easier or would require less humility. The thing you figure you'll always have the opportunity to do...tomorrow...

What is that thing? Telling someone how much they mean to you. 

I was so blessed this morning to wake up to a message from a former student (before I changed career paths) who is graduating from high school this year. He wrote me the kindest note, thanking me for being a "great teacher" and an "inspiration" to him. What a surprise! Tears filled my eyes as I thought about the time and intentionality it took for a high school senior, in the midst of a busy, busy time of life, to think back on someone who taught him in sixth grade and thank her. It absolutely made my day.

And it made me think...who am I putting off thanking? Who is it that touched my life recently or in the distant past that I keep telling myself I need to thank or tell how much they mean to me? 

And why is it that I put it off? Sometimes, I think I put it off in hopes of finding some super-creative way to send the message. Sometimes, I think that I'm too busy to invest the time. Sometimes, I'm just lazy. None of these are good excuses. Yes, I think a genuine thank-you or message of encouragement should take some time to craft or rehearse. We ALL can make this kind of time.

Let's DO this. Think through those people who have impacted or are impacting you right now. Tell them how much they mean to you. Tell them often! I have yet to meet someone who gets tired of being appreciated.

"From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled;
with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied" (Prov 18:20). 
"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" (Col 3:12). 
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law" (Gal 5:22-23).

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