May 2

Preparation Begets Presence

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For the next couple of weeks, I’ve invited some of our Children’s Ministry team members to guest post here on the Magnetic Ministry blog.  Up this week – Laura Langley, Preschool Groups Leader.  Laura leads our Preschool Life Group Leaders and Welcome Hosts.  You can read more from Laura on her blog, Think Out Loud.

“Be prepared.” That’s the Boy Scout motto.

My Dad, the ultimate Boy Scout, has drilled this into my head for as long as I can remember.

Extra cash, oil in the car, flashlight, keys, phone, lip gloss (ok, maybe that one came from my Mom.)  The notion was to always be prepared.

I’ve always taken this advice with a grain of salt.  My unfortunate lack of discipline often leads me to be naively optimistic.  Assuming all will be fine, I rarely take the time to fully prepare.

I skim the chapters before class.  I assume I have enough gas to get me there.  I bum a pen off my neighbor.

Preparation begets presence.  A good friend and strong voice in my life shared this with me a couple years ago.  I’m recognizing again and again just how true it is.

When my gas tank is full, my oil is clean and my tires are aired up I enjoy my trip.  I’m not distracted. I’m fully engaged.  I see the scenery.

When I know the material, have read the book and come with questions, I participate on a deeper level.  I bring something of value to the group.

Every day we show up to our jobs, our families, our responsibilities, our kid’s soccer games, our meetings.  But how often are we really present at these events?

I just spent the last year and a half in a quiet, foggy season waiting on the Lord.  I knew God called me to something different, something bigger.  I also knew that there was something significant He needed me to learn before He could open the door for me to go.

I was in a season of preparation, restlessly and expectantly waiting on the Lord.

It was uncomfortable.  It was lonely.  It was disheartening.  But it was worth it.

I’ve begun a new chapter here at Southland, and I can honestly say I’ve been present for it all.  That’s big stuff for me!  As one who has lived in the “checked out” stage for too long, I can’t tell you how alive and engaged I feel today!

The weary wait was worth it.

I’m learning again and again that God is faithful.  The wait is essential.  The preparation is uncomfortable, but His Presence will make your soul full.

I don’t know what you’re waiting for.  I don’t know how or what the Lord is preparing for you.  But I do know it matters.  I do know we need you.

I challenge you to take some time this week to ask God what it is that He’s preparing you for.  Jesus has invited you into an adventure you can’t afford to miss!  I pray God would give you a teachable heart.  I pray you wouldn’t just show up, but that you would actually be present, even in the season of preparation.  

Find the time this week to walk through your material for the weekend.  Sit with your Life Group and listen.  You won’t be distracted.  You won’t worry about what’s coming next.  You may be on the receiving end of a powerful moment.  You may share the joy of Jesus with a child.  You may give an encouraging hug to a weary parent.

 If you show up prepared and ready to meet your kids where they are, you create the conditions for God to show off.  You won’t be thinking about anything else.  You’ll be fully present in the moment.

God has a moment for you this week.  Don’t miss it.

- Laura Langley, Preschool Groups Leader

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