My mom tells me I was in Sunday School on day 3 of my life.
I do not doubt that one bit.
It doesn’t surprise me that just a few days after pushing out a 10 pound 4 ounce baby Holly that my mom dropped me off in the church nursery and was back to playing the organ for worship or teaching a Sunday School class, or singing in the choir, or whipping up a Sunday lunch for a couple of dozen people, or whatever her “Here I am Lord” was for that day.
I come from a long line of women who wake up in the morning, read the Scriptures, and say to their Maker “Here I am Lord.”
This morning I read a story I likely heard taught a hundred times as a child. The story of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus was a popular one in my childhood when teachers used flannel boards instead of YouTube movies to teach (The trained teacher in me loves both of these by the way…both are great pedagogy…long live the flannel board)
As often happens when I read Scriptures, one part of the story illuminated in my mind this morning.
Usually when I read this chapter of the book of Acts, I am awestruck by the story of Paul. I am in awe of how God can take the worst of the worst and transform them and use them for His glory.
I know a lot of apostle Paul fans out there because his story gives us hope for the miraculous in a world filled with evil and hate.
This morning the phrase in this story that caused me to stop in my tracks was “Here I am Lord.”
This was Ananias’ response to the Lord calling his name that morning.
“Here I am Lord.”
Here I am. Man if only Ananias knew the request that would follow.
Would he have been so quick to respond to the Lord calling His name if he knew the unthinkable that the Lord was going to ask him to do that day?
I was pondering this as I ate breakfast with my kids this morning discussing a book we are going through together on Friday mornings.
As the four year old reminded us over and over how boring the book is, I kept talking to my teens about Habit 3 “Putting First Things First.”
As we looked at a chart in the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens,” I was reminded of Ananias’ “Here I am Lord” and I began talking about my morning Bible reading with the kids.
What if Ananias had stayed in his comfort zone that day?
What if he instead acted on the “but Lord” that he responded with after God gave him his instructions for that day?
How many times had Ananias said “Here I am Lord” and God’s instructions were in his comfort zone? Within his skill set? Something he felt qualified to do? Something that made sense in the world’s eyes?
If Ananias is anything like me, often the Lord’s daily instructions for me are in my comfort zone. They make sense. I feel qualified. I am not scared to death of having said “Yes, Lord.”
I wonder what Ananias was expecting the Lord to request of him that day.
The Bible doesn’t give us many details about Ananias. We know so much of Paul’s life after this story.
But what about Ananias?
Does he know that his “Here I am Lord” that morning would result in millions of Gentiles being ushered into the Kingdom?
Likely no. He was just doing what he did everyday. “Here I am Lord.”
Did he just fade back into the background as so many amazing followers of Jesus do without seeking fame for being “the one” who brought the Holy Spirit to Paul?
Paul will forever be the star in this story and tagged as the world changer.
Today, I am moved at the fact of how world changing a simple “Here I am Lord” can be when spoken by someone who the Lord trust will step out of their comfort zone and into the zone of courage.
I usually leave this Bible story being inspired by the fact that the power of the Gospel can transform the worst of sinners and use them to spread love in this world.
Today I am inspired by the faithful Ananias who knew the voice of His Father and was ready to respond to both the comfortable and courageous.
May we all be like my momma and Ananias and wake up each morning with “Here I am Lord” and be willing to do both the comfortable and the courageous with reckless abandon for the Gospel. . .even if someone else gets to be the star of the “story” here on earth.