A few months ago, I was excited to attend the IF Gathering, be with like-minded women, be fed and rejuvenated, and worship and hear from God. I had just added an evening workout class to my weekly schedule and felt tapped out.
The week of the conference, one of the leaders reached out and asked if I could lead a stretch and meditation class. I was first struck with fear because teaching a stretch class was out of my wheelhouse. Leading five minutes of stretch after a workout is one thing but leading an actual stretch-focused routine while speaking scripture was different. But, when God gives the nudge, it's best to jump.
The week of the Gathering, I prayed and planned my scripture focus to concentrate on Psalm 1:3, "She will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season. And its leaf does not wither; And whatever she does will prosper.
I tied it into verse John 7:37, Where Jesus says, "anyone who is thirsty, come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, rivers of living water will flow from within them."
I marveled at how the verses tied together and was excited to see how God would use the class I was about to lead.
On the day of the Gathering, I grabbed my yoga mat, backpack, and the scroll where I wrote my verses down, kissed my four-year-old and husband goodbye, and headed to the venue, 10 minutes behind schedule. I hit every red light on the way, and after parking, I couldn't get the parking meter to work. Frazzled and frustrated, I ran down the street, my hand on the door handle, ready to pull, when I heard a voice. "Do you have any spare change?" Processing what she said, I knew I'd have to put my backpack down and unzip three pockets to get the money, so I turned in the direction of the voice and said, "Sorry, I'm already late."
It wasn't until after I had tucked myself into bed that night that I realized that I had forgotten to attend to my Father's work, taking care of the poor and marginalized, because I was too busy going about my Father's work.
Jesus was all about his Father's work, but when someone called to him, Psalm 34:6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles. He never turned away.
The lesson I learned that weekend didn't come from the class I led, the songs I sang, or the speakers I listened to but from the call of one needy woman who sat on the dirty sidewalk. She called, but I was too busy to listen.