Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Showing God

 The Headlines:

God is working for you.

Are you working for him?

And... can people tell?

I have long been a Christian.  My Grandfather was a Lutheran Minister and growing up my family and I went to church every Sunday. I have always had a close relationship with God.  I pray and talk to him all the time.  I know bible stories galore and am very secure with and in my Christianity.  I rely on it everyday.

So, one day, back when I worked for the local NBC station in Phoenix, Arizona... something shocking happened.  As I was chatting and getting ready for air, I said something to my anchor at the time... when she looked at me quizzically and said, "wait, you're a Christian?"  Ohhhhhhhhh boy.  I was paralyzed.  Embarrassed.   Kinda Sickened.  "Of course,"  I replied, "it's like, the most important thing to me!"  

How did she not know that?    


Cleary, it didn't seem to be.  Apparently, I wasn't showing God.  I wasn't talking about him.  I wasn't acting on him.  He was hidden.  Yet... he was truly the most important thing to me.  How could that be?  It was shameful.  If something is important to you, you show it.  People know.  

I'm reading a book right now, "Elijah"  by Priscilla Shirer.   In it Shirer contends what you do, how you spend your time, money, efforts... is what you, in a sense, worship.  It's like your God.  Gulp.   Think about that one.  

What do people know about you?  What do you show?  What is important?  

For instance, if you're at dinner and you dip out to the restroom... does your bestie know what to order you?  I bet she does.  If you're single and you like guys with red hair....  are your girlfriends looking for carrot topped men for you?  Probably.  If you dream to be a professional golfer - do people know where you'll be on a beautiful (not windy) morning in Scottsdale?  Of course.  Because you show all those things.  

That Anchor friend of mine knew I liked fine dinners, fine wine and fine facials.  But she had no idea that my biggest "find" had nothing to do with the finer things in life.  It had everything to do with My God.  But I needed to show it.  And fast.  Now, no, I didn't go on Television that morning declaring to all, "In Phoenix, Nicole McGregor, I'm a Christian.... 12 News" but it did change me.  From that point forward, I was keenly aware that I needed to TALK my WALK.  


*As the years passed I became a Mom.  This is when you really get a chance to talk and walk with God.  In fact, I've noticed it's at this time when many are brought closer toward God.  Through their children.  There are opportunities like Pre-School, Sunday School or camps.  You never realize this when you're a child yourself.  But turns out when you're a kid - people throw lots of opportunities at you.  They want to create environments where the child can learn and grow.  

Those opportunities tend to dry up as we age (like everything else).  Until all of the sudden you look around and see absolutely no opportunities that you don't make for yourself.  Feel me?  So, unbeknownst to us (at the time), children need to seize these amazing chances at lasso-ing something special.  Like drawing, like building, like... God.*  

Parents are lucky too because they can piggyback on what their kids are being exposed to...  including God.  Some don't need an introduction to God but they might need to get reacquainted with him.  Maybe we all need that actually.  My children of course were baptized.  We pledged to make God a center of our lives for not only ourselves but our children.  I was Mary and BP was Joseph at church on Christmas when our daughter was just a few months old.  They both went to a Christian Pre-School.  My daughter goes to a Christian (Catholic) High School.  We go to church as much as our schedules allow.  I try to read Christian books and attend bible studies.  I make it one of my priorities.  It's still not enough.  It probably never will be and I'm okay with that.  What I'm not okay with is someone looking at me, shockingly, and saying "you're a Christian?"  No, please, never ever again.  

I want to make sure people know that my God is more important than my Gucci.  I do not want there to be any question about that.  I don't worship people, planes or purses.  Only him.  I hope my actions and words show God everyday.  And most importantly, I need this to trickle down... to those little people who I'm in charge of making big Christians.  

I think it's working.  Here's why.


Almost every night I take my son to bed.  We talk, pray, sing, sometimes I cry (ok, I cry a lot).  It is a special time.  On this occasion, my son was about to embark upon a baseball tournament.  We, as per usual, started to pray but while I typically lead it... this night , I asked him to do it.  "You can use the extra prayers, maybe you should request strength this weekend."  He had been a little under the weather.  He prayed.  The next day,  the team played great.  He, in particular had a really good game.  So when we came back that night for prayer I suggested he may want to do the honors again.  And after yet another day of amazing play - it came time to pray.  This, you see, was a 3 day tournament.  The first we've ever had.  But this time, before prayer, I asked him: "Hey, who are you playing baseball for?"  He thought about this for a while.  A good 30 seconds.  He answered: "me..."  "Oh," I said, 

"what if you started playing for God?"  

He wasn't baffled.  Instead he looked at me and said... "that's what I was gonna say!"  I asked if maybe, when he stepped onto the field... if he should give it to him?  

Give God the glory.  

Play ball in his honor.  All the time.  I told him he didn't have to point to heaven when he ran over home plate.  He didn't have to make the sign of the cross over his chest when he got a good hit.  I didn't want him, in any way, to act like the pro's do.  He just had to be himself.  Do what he thought right.  I encouraged saying a prayer before or as he took the field.  I didn't explain exactly when or how to do this... I figured he could work that out.

The next day my son's team played ball again.  They won two more games.  They went all the way to the last game.  The Championship.  I didn't know what unfolded at the time, but was told later.  

Before that last game my son, #3, (for yes... all the reasons why you can imagine and more) PRAYED.  

He got on his knees in the dug out, leaned on that long bench, humbled himself before our Lord... and he started to pray.  That 10 year old little guy prayed in front of all of his team mates.  By himself.  But not for long.  Soon, one little boy asked him what he was doing and when he told him he joined.  Then there were two.  Until another little boy asked them what they were up to and he kneeled beside them both.  From what I was told, it wasn't much later that all of those kids were alongside each other praying before that game.  Showing God.


My little man, bravely did what, apparently, I couldn't do all those years earlier.  He Showed God.  Boldly, unapologetically, perfectly.   I was proud.  Not for the baseball game.  Oh no, they lost that one.  Two to zilch.  Even after all those little prayers. 


But that's how God works.

Sure, it would have been even better if they had won the game.  Or maybe not.  Because that's not always how life goes.  Just because you ask for something... doesn't mean you get it.  In fact, often times you don't.  I know you know that.  But I think, no matter what the score board said,  those boys won that day.  They won something way bigger than the first place ring.  They hit a homer out of the park when they kneeled before him.  When they Showed up for God.  Showed the world, or at least our little part of it, that he's there, everywhere, all the time.  They showed he's in charge.  Even during a kids baseball  game.  It's amazing how so many of us rely, solely, on ourselves.  Like, we got this... when we don't.  He's got it.  He empowers US to go get it.  


If you've read this far I think you're into this.  So do me a favor and go back up and read the paragraph that's starred under TAKE TWO.  Then come back and meet me right here.

Did you read it again?  Okay so now...

Create YOUR opportunity to Show God.  You're not 5 anymore, no one's reading you bible stories or taking your hand and helping you cross the street.   You have to do it.  And see, God needs you to... heck the world needs you to do this right now.  There's a lot of people out there NOT Showing God but we can change that.  It just takes you.  

I hope my son understands that now.  Or at least is starting to... may that never change when he's angry, or sick, or hurt... or lost.  Because he will lose more baseball games even when he's Showing God.  We all will suffer from time to time, some more than others... even though we're showing up.  But that doesn't mean we stop.  

Naaaaaah... that's when we lean in more.  And more.  

Finally tonight, when I was in my 20's my Mom got me one of my favorites gifts.  In the eyes of the world, sadly, it wouldn't be much.  But to me... it meant everything.  It was a simple wood frame with words underneath the glass.  It said:


Trust me.

I have everything under control.


Wow.  And all I had to do... was show up.




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