I must admit, I am a better responder than an initiator, which sometimes makes it difficult for me to come up with something to write here without a question being asked or someone introducing a topic for discussion. I confess I have always found it a bit nerve-wracking to call someone up and ask them to do something, though I have learned to overcome that hesitation to a certain extent. I would much rather prefer to respond to an invitation, but I figure that a bunch of people sitting around waiting for invitations won’t get anything done, so I have learned to pick up the phone or type that email or walk up to someone, even though it is out of my comfort zone sometimes.
There are people that are very aggressive and ambitious in their personalities, that believe life is what you make of it, you are responsible to make things happen, you are in charge of your destiny, you’ve got to have a plan and carry it out or nothing will happen. I live with one of them! But I have also seen that all the planning and initiating and getting out there and doing the stuff can still result in nothing being accomplished.
A few weeks ago, some reconciliation happened that many of us have waited eight years to see. Numerous people tried to make it happen earlier. Effort and prayer and time and communication and meetings were spent trying to put it all together, but always with limited success and a sense of incompletion. We all knew this was of vital importance, but in the end, were impotent to see it fully realized. Then, through a series of unrelated events, all the people were in the right place at the right time and when the person in charge recognized this and seized the opportunity to address the issue again, the rest of us instantly responded. The results were explosive and extensive and I do believe, life changing because all of us were ready, willing, and able.
Looking back, I can see that there is no substitute for the timing and planning of God. I can have ambition, a drive and a passion for good things, a desire to see things accomplished, but these things can only take me so far. I see God as the ultimate initiator. He is the one who seeks us out, he is the one who offers the first invitation, who offers the opportunities for change. My part is not only to respond, but to be prepared, to be ready, to catch the vision, to jump right in there with both feet and pursue without hesitation what has been put in front of me. God initiates his love towards us, and in the same way, I must become an initiator of love to those around me. I cannot force anything to happen, and I cannot coerce someone to respond to any of my invitations and I certainly do not want to manipulate circumstances to my liking. I can, however, work on my reflexes, those first responses which reveal my deepest desires, and be prepared to fight for all those things I have dared to hope for and all those people I have come to love.
So, in case there are others of you out there who have a burning desire for something, and yet despite your best efforts, nothing has happened…don’t lose hope. Be prepared, be ready, be a person of integrity and truth and passion and risk and faithfulness, be willing, develop your skills, and keep asking God to provide the opportunity. If you trust him, he will not disappoint you.