Have you ever tossed a pebble into a pond and watched the splash and ensuing ripples on the surface of the water? If you have, you know that you can make the splash larger (or smaller) with the size of the stone and the force with which you throw it. When you throw the stone into a pond on a cloudless day when the wind is still and the sun is hot, you can see the impact and hear it very clearly. You watch the stone fly through the air and then you get a “splat” or “plop. ”Whether you throw the big rock or the small pebble, both create ripples that spread across the surface … they start small and expand out, and out, and out.
On days where there is wind, rain, clouds, and storms, the water is churned by all these factors, but throwing the pebble still creates those ripples; they just may be harder to identify. You may not hear the stone hit the water, or the ripples may be challenged by the wind. They may not go as far or be as pronounced as when you have a clear, calm, and “perfect” day, but the ripples still have an impact.
As Christians we are to be that pebble tossed into the waters of life. We will rarely have a “perfect” day when every condition is right for us to witness to those around us. We will likely have days that are always subject to some sort of “storm” or “turbulence.” Yet like the pebble tossed into the pond, whether our impact is small and quiet with small ripples spreading out from us or if we can have a big impact and create huge ripples out from our efforts, we still need to toss ourselves into the pond of life. We need to have an impact each and every day through the way we live our lives, take opportunities to share our faith with others, and through our prayers for those we love and those we need to learn to love, especially our enemies.
Our prayers can be great “pebbles” in the pond, too, so try this tip for getting past prayer barriers: Keep a prayer journal in which you list all the people, organizations, and other things you are praying for. Personally I head to that list daily for help in keeping my prayers focused and following Jesus’ guidance. On those stormy days I find I add even more names to the list: the troublesome neighbor, the cranky client, the unethical service provider, the challenging colleague … you get the picture. The rougher the day, the more I need to pray for strength to love, forgive, accept, and persevere.
Have you prayed today? Have you prayed for those who need it the most?
Author: Lea A. Strickland, MBA CMA CFM CBM GMC
Copyright ©2012 Lea A. Strickland
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