Over the past month it feels as though life has been like a whirlwind. Just a month ago basketball was underway, masters classes, and school had started up again. I usually don't make or take the time to process through everything that goes on in a week, let alone a day. However, one of the benefits of traveling with the basketball team is the time we spend in the air getting to and from our games.
Last week was the beginning of trying to make sense of all the pain and hurt we experience in this world. In the course of a week I talked with a friend who had lost two coworkers, a couple people went to the ER that I knew, along with all of that, I attended a funeral of a 5 year old boy from a village in our school district. It kind of all hit at once which made it difficult to sit down and process all the emotions and feelings I was experiencing. I was able to support my friends by attending the Russian Orthodox funeral. One of the thoughts that ran through my head was the intense need to spread the love of Christ to those who are lost. I was reminded that for nonbelievers everywhere, there is a lack of hope. There is no reassurance, joy, or a peace. I am not saying this little boy was not a believer nor am I saying his family are not believers either, but rather, I am saying this as a general statement. The fact that people do not know Christ and will spend an eternity in hell should be a huge motivation for anyone of us to share the gospel.
One of these past weekends we flew south over 2 hours and 30 minutes to King Cove, which is located on the Alutien chain. The town has about 800-900 people. It is such a beautiful sight to see with really hospitable people. When we were picked up from the runway, we were instantly introduced to this southern man who expected no nonsense from any team. Come to find out, he was the principal of the King Cove School. He had just moved there with his wife 4 days before we came. On top of that, he was a believer and Scott and I had the privilege to pray with him before we left for home. This experience quickly reminded me that the reason we come on these basketball trips is not just for playing basketball, but opportunities for us to be lights to those around us wherever we go.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in everything going on in our lives that we forget to check in on other peoples' lives to see how they are doing. No matter how busy life seems, I don't want to be too busy or deaf to obey God in His asking us to spread His word and love to others. I love watching my girls encourage, get to know, and love others so well.
We also went to Akiak a couple weekends ago for basketball, and we ended up winning our first game of the season. As soon as we got there, the other team was shooting around and playing bump (knock out). 3 of my girls immediately went over and joined their group. They came back reporting to me that they were really nice. Through my girls, I see the love and light of Christ. We talk about being lights and showing Christ when we travel. More than not, we see people who seem like they have no hope and we might be the only light that they see. I am so proud of my girls and how they want to live for Christ in their everyday lives. This doesn't only apply to basketball, it applies to everyday life with the people we come in contact with on a daily basis. As I continue to travel each and every weekend, I try to remind myself that no matter how tired, stressed, frustrated, drained, or overwhelmed I may feel....people matter! People need to love and be loved.
In recent conversation, there was a discussion of what it looks like to practically love people. The first thought in my mind was to ask a person their story. It is the most simplest of things to ask someone about themselves. Typically, most people like to talk about themselves and tell you about their life. All you have to do it listen. I think that is where the hard part comes in, at least for me. I tend to shy away because I feel that I have had my fill of conversation through teaching all day, classes at night, and coaching basketball. However, the Lord keeps reminding me how important it is for me to listen when someone needs a listening ear. I have four more weekends to travel and use my time wisely.
I am no better than anyone of you who are reading my blog, I am simply saying that I need to work harder at my first job, which is serving the Lord by spreading the gospel. I challenge you to look at your life and find a practical way of doing this to those around you. It may come down to you stepping out of your comfort zone to do so, but that is not always such a bad thing. May God use me to encourage you. Blessings brothers and sisters.