Today I sat in three different conference rooms for four different presentations at a Lutheran conference being held in my city. The topics varied from social media in churches to women in ministry to change in the church, all focused around outreach. But I’m taking away so much more.
I had been excited about this conference for weeks. I love learning. I love being at conferences and interacting and hearing stories and feeling part of something. I had cleaned off my desk at work. I had planned out the child care. I was ready to dive into it.
Then I got a few work emails. My mind was distracted. I talked to my husband and hated what he said, not because it was insensitive but because it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I was losing focus quickly.
I was mad that I wasn’t better at my job. I was mad that I wasn’t thinner. I was mad that I wasn’t getting what I wanted from my husband, my lunch was $12 (?!?!?) and that I wasn’t connecting with the information the way I had intended. I wanted to blame my distraction on anything.
Had these frustrations come up while I was at home, at work, sitting in my camper, at the grocery store, anywhere else, I would have cried and then wallowed. I would have woe-is-me’d. I would have pity partied. I would have done anything in my power to take a nap.
Today though, I prayed.
I dealt with my frustration through prayer. I couldn’t not. This conference, Sent, is all about being sent into the world for a purpose. So today, through my anxiety and my hurt and my pain and my depression and my fear–I prayed. I didn’t try to avoid it. I was faced with it head on. I had to think about it. I had to see it. And all of these banners and all of these people and all of the other reminders triggered me to remember that I am Sent.
I am sent for a reason. I’m not here to be miserable so it’s time to figure it out. Why am I here?
Did you hear me God? I’m listening! I’m ready to know why.
So hopefully I’ll take away a lot form this conference and use it to help my church in some way, i mean, they paid for my ticket so they should get something in return. But if nothing else, it caused me to pause, reflect and share that with God.
Tell me where to go, God. Tell me what i’m here to do! I’m ready.
Here I am, send me, send me.