The Stir : SHINE ON

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Something about the calm that passes over me at the sight of empty security lines or finding pleasure in skimming the pages of a new issue of RealSimple while waiting for the plane to board reassures me that I am settling gracefully into my thirties.  A couple months ago, l traveled sans husband as we were at the mercy of the unforgiving schedule of Third Year exams.  It was a quick trip to the desert and back to see one of my closest cousins marry the love of his life.  A classic Vegas wedding was in store and I’m not sure it was something the Kee family ever expected.  On the other side of my flight, my brother, sister in-law, and parents were anxiously waiting for the plane to touch down so we could go explore under a sea of flashing lights.  The wedding day agenda?  Poolside relaxation before getting ready to celebrate with the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs.

The safety presentation for my departing flight was engaging.  Engaging because you can’t help but to break a side grin when the directions for the use of the seatbelt include tightening the belt firmly around your waist for safety or firmly around the mouth of your talkative neighbor for peace and quiet.  Touché, Frontier.  Touché.

Our culture is calling us to be engaging.  We are programmed to entice the world around us to stop and stare for more than a fleeting moment.  If it is only a moment that we are granted, what we offer to our social media followers may have the power to elicit a ‘Like.’  Enough Likes and you’re sitting at the table with all the cool kids.  My comments here are nothing earth shattering.  We are all very aware of the positives and negatives that have been introduced by the likes of these networks.  We can demonize them and praise them with little effort.  Moving beyond the polarized sides of the coin, I want to expose something valuable that I believe is demonstrated by the 1.44 BILLION active users each month on Facebook (expandedramblings.com).

Regardless of upbringing, ethnicity, salary, fashion sense, gluten intolerance, marital status, green thumb (or lack thereof), we are all capable of engaging people by sharing our stories.  Whether it is by means of a social media network, a podium on a platform, or in simple cubicle chatter, we all tell a story.

Both self-promotion and self-loathing carry a repulsive odor.  You can catch wind of it from a mile away.  One small whiff and we try to move as quickly as possible in the opposite direction.  Encouragement, inspiration, motivation, creativity, grace, passion, excellence, truth, effort, teamwork, risk, humility. . . such are the ingredients for a recipe that yields HOPE.  If we can move outside of our own skin for a moment to consider our audience, it might even change our tone.

Who is your audience?  I guarantee they are listening.  Just as I was part of the audience for the Frontier flight crew, there are people who take a front seat in your life every single day.  Some of them will occupy a seat for the rest of your life while others are only passing by.  Regardless of their length of stay, you may serve as a catalyst that moves them toward their potential.  Consider creative ways that you can build up those around you both by word and by deed.

Christ followers: our lives have been forever changed through salvation!  When Jesus taught one of the most famous lessons in all of history, He proclaimed a powerful message:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

You never know who might be in need of the Hope you carry, so do not be ashamed of the Gospel and SHINE ON!!!

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