I had an exercise in remembrance recently, as I went through some old journals and notebooks. While thumbing through notes taken during a college retreat back in 1984, the Lord reminded me of an encounter with a very unique woman.
She was the main speaker, and I remember her talk as I look at a picture of a flower I drew to illustrate her point on how we grow as Christians. I would refer to that picture many times over the years, sharing with others the need to be deeply rooted in God’s Word and daily in prayer in order to blossom and bloom.
Yet, as good as her teaching would be, that is not what I remember most. It was sitting at a picnic table during a meal and sharing a conversation. Never once did she talk about herself or set herself apart as someone special. No, she asked about me, peppered me with questions, let me talk — all the while, listening with both her face and eyes.
She showed interest in me.
I was a young, college student; a girl who wanted to follow God, but was desperately flawed. Carolyn Teague was a woman of compassion, love and care, and God used her that day to teach me what it means to engage others for the Kingdom.
I never saw her after that weekend, but I never forgot what she taught me. Show more interest in others than you do in yourself, and God can do great things through you. I haven’t always succeed in this lesson, but God’s Spirit has often used that memory to prick my conscience and get me back on track.
How have you been influenced by others? Does their example remind you that you wanted to be like them but haven’t lived up to their standard? It’s never too late to make a change, honoring their influence by applying their practices to your life.
Are you influencing others? It’s never too late for that either. Begin by showing interest.
Grace and Peace