“Kids,” I began, “it was probably super inconvenient for the Samaritan to stop and help this man. Maybe he had somewhere to be. This really slowed down his trip. But he did the right thing. He helped out his neighbor, no matter what the cost.” The presentation was great. The heart of the story was tugging on my insides. I actually teared up a little while closing out with the application. And that was just the practice session at home.
When it came to the real deal, something just wasn’t right. The story of Luke 10 didn’t seem to connect with the kids. When I encouraged the kids to pray and think about who they might be a neighbor to this week, things seem to fall flat. The music was sub-par. I just didn’t get it. What went wrong?
I was laying in bed, rehashing the night. ”Why didn’t it work, Lord?” I prayed. Practice was so on target. Why didn’t it flesh out?
Suddenly, I realized.
I am the priest. I am the Levite.
Wednesday afternoon, six hours before church, the phone rang. I checked the caller ID and knew it was going to be a long conversation, and I was right in the middle of something. I reasoned, I call this person back in a few minutes. Twenty minutes later, when I called back, they were no longer available, but the message on my answering machine kept playing over and over in my head. The sadness in the voice. The plea, “I just need someone to talk to.”
I was the Levite. I am a teacher of the law. I’m a Children’s Ministry director! But when I saw an injured person in the road, I crossed to the other side. I didn’t answer the phone. I didn’t listen to the Holy Spirit and I wasn’t Responsible with the opportunity God had given me to be a neighbor to someone in need.
Scripture teaches us, out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Clearly my heart was not in the right place. I’ve been reading and thinking quite a bit about inviting the Holy Spirit to participate more in our Children’s Ministry program. Spurred by Michelle’s Anthony’s book, Dreaming for More, I’ve been praying more fervently for our kids to genuinely experience the voice of God. Clearly, I need some work myself. I was saying the right words, but they were falling flat because I wasn’t living them. It’s a hard thing. We get comfortable in “how we do things” and it’s hard to hand over the reigns to the Holy Spirit. Of course, I know it’s a far better thing to have God in charge, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
What Do You Do?
How do you keep your mind tuned into the voice of the Holy Spirit? Leave me a comment and let me know!