God has never asked for my advice. Not once. This is so surprising because I’m so eager to give it to him. ( wink). I bet if you’re honest – you are too.
I have thoughts on the places I’d like my adult children to live. I have ideas on who should be elected to public office. I have suggestions for the timing of the challenges in my life. I’m not opposed to them – I just need them to come when I’m good and ready and they won’t make me too uncomfortable. Oh my.
It’s our last day of Christmastide – the 12th day of Christmas. My goal in this season was to wrap up one year and move boldly into the next finding reasons to rejoice. Each day God showed me that there is plenty to celebrate if I stop long enough to really see. He is so good to show us so much.
Today – today may feel a bit harsh. It’s the day when I’ll share some marching orders, some God direction for our next steps. Tough love of sorts – still love but tough. You know – the love that hurts so good. The love motivated by a genuine concern for whats best for us, desiring that we don’t just coast through life but boldly move in the direction of God’s calling. The direction that causes us and many to say “Who me?”
Like Moses at the burning bush.
Like Abraham and Sarah at the news they would be parents in their old age.
Like Gideon when asked to lead an army of 300 against an army of thousands.
Like the woman at the well.
Like the woman caught in adltry.
All through scripture God calls the unequipped and equips them.
All through scripture God invites the least of these to some of the greatest acts of faith ever recorded. And today, my friend, he’s calling you.
I believe 2020 was a training ground. It was a daily workout plan for which we did not willingly enroll. I truly believe it was preparation for what is to come. We are stronger, braver, more resilient, flexible, ready for the reality that our hope can never rest in worldly idols, ever again. It’s time for us to Show up and Suit up. God has plans for you and for me.
Proverbs is a book of the bible you don’t want to flip to lightly. The words are tough and many times hit too close to home. For example:
Proverbs 6:6-11 The Message
You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely, let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. All summer it stores up food, at harvest it stockpiles provisions. So how long are you going to lay around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back , take it easy – do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt poor life, poverty your permanent house guest.
FRIENDS – It’s time to Suit up and Show up.
This last Saturday I participated in a 6 hour workshop ….
Like the rest of the world, a conference that I had attended for 17 years in person, with hundreds of others, moved to the only option we have right now… virtual. No one would see me that day except my family and my cat and my dog. My plan was to shower, put on some yoga pants and snuggle in for the day. And then I heard a whisper – “Suit up and Show up.”
In my world, the woman in leadership have a uniform. It is a beautiful suit designed specifically for the top 2% of the company that are responsible for leading the sales force. I love it. I look forward to the arrival of a new one each spring. I love shopping for new shoes and accessories. I love my suit. When I put it on it feels like superman in the telephone booth. Stay at home mom during the day – super woman leader of many by night. I realized Saturday that the 2020 suit that was set to launch in July of 2020 was hanging patiently in my closet – well at least the skirt was. For the last 8 months I’ve half showed up – physically that is. I’ve donned the top part of my suit for ZOOM events but not the bottom ( No one can see me from the waist down – so why bother?) But Saturday, the day of a 6 hour Zoom, I heard Suit up, Show up, ALL OF YOU.
Even they nylons?
Yes – even they nylons.
So I did. I moved into prep mode. Showered, applied my make up and curled my hair. I picked out my jewelry and even wrestled on my nylons buried deep in my sock drawer. And as I did the craziest thing happened. I felt myself waking up. I felt my excitement for the day growing. I felt my mind shift from being kind of “In” to all the way. I hadn’t felt that way in a very long time. The practice of Suiting up and Showing up was powerful. I spoke a message to myself that I would no longer allow the pandemic of 2020 to lower my bar of excellence. I would take the lessons learned in the yoga pants of 2020 to fully embrace the stage of 2021. Like an athlete that moves from practice gear to game day uniform. Like a dancer that moves from rehearsal clothes to opening night costume and full make up – I’m ready to show up and suit up for this next season. I believe you are too.
Friends – hear my heart. 2020 was hard and the flip to 2021 has not quick fixed the questions and challenges that still linger. Today I await the MRI results for a family member which will disclose the severity of a recent breast cancer diagnosis. Hard indeed. There are days that simply getting out of bed is a victory – and I applaud each of us as we continue to do the best with what we have. BUT I can’t deny the nudge I got last weekend – the one I believe was from my God that called me higher. He knows full well what we are in and he also reminds us that we are part of, the only plan for sharing His truths with the world. This is no small task. Sharing light in the darkness is growing increasingly more difficult. It is not for the faint of heart but hearts are fainting from a lack of knowing the true source or our peace and power – The Love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. God needs us to Suit up and Show up – all of us – head to toe. Today. Right this minute. Now.
I don’t know what suiting up and showing up means in your world but I’m pretty sure you do. Like the ant, if we’re honest, we can admit it’s not from a lack of knowing what to do, it is from a lack of believing the God who promises to equip the called. He isn’t coming asking us for ideas or opinions on the plan for our lives but he is asking us to Show up to suit up. It’s a humbling honor to recognize that he is eagerly waiting for each of us to present ourselves to Him ready for duty.
My Suit is on. I’m Showing up today. I’m expectant and ready to walk this New Year out in God confidence. I’d love to have you join me. The world is waiting. Our God is waiting….
and for this I rejoice.