My thoughts shifted to my assigned seat for the flight. I would be sitting across the aisle from my children, next to a stranger. In the past, it seemed I always sat next to someone whose life was in major turmoil . The routine often went like this. They spilled their guts to my listening ears. I put on my thinkin' cap doing my best to help them in an hour or less. It was like 'Dear Abby' in the skies. However on this flight I could not rely on my old routine, where I racked my brain for some good advice. I was not flying solo on this. I knew Jesus. I could point to Him.
As I waited for the gate to open, this question popped into my head. Am I prepared to share the reason for the hope that I have? Really prepared? To be honest, I was exhausted from packing and planning. I felt weary. I wanted peace and quiet on this flight, no turbulent life story. I was willing to take one for the team if necessary, but my fuel level was almost on E.
As I walked down the aisle, I saw my assigned seat next to a businessman. Seeing his face buried in USA Today brought a sigh of relief as I plopped in the seat next to him. It appeared I was off the hook. I could finish my Bible lesson without interruption and check this off my 'to do' list : ) Ten minutes into the flight Mr. Businessman place his folded newspaper in his lap. He leaned over to check out what I was studying. He recognized the Word. I was stunned. Mr. Businessman knew Jesus! Not only did he know Jesus, he wanted to talk about Him too. My countenance immediately perked up.
For the next forty minutes Chris, formerly Mr. Businessman, and I had the most incredible conversation about the Lord. We were soaring as we testified to God's goodness in our lives. The Holy Spirit was fueling this conversation. It was incredible, truly incredible. Time seemed to fly by and soon we heard the caption announce our arrival in Atlanta. I didn't want to land. People started crowding the aisle, gathering their overhead luggage. I stood up, joining the line to exit the plane with my children. I turned to Chris expressing my gratitude for meeting him. He nodded in agreement as I said goodbye. "Wait!" he said. Chris opened his briefcase and handed me a book, The Purpose Driven Life. (This was before it was well know.) "I want you to have this Barbara." I accepted the book graciously, recognizing the significance of the moment. As I stepped off the plane, my children immediately started talking about the nice man. "Who was he?" they asked.
Chris obviously had a divine appointment to sit by me that day, to spill his thoughts about Jesus. I boarded this flight weary but I have to tell you ...Barbara walked off flying. On the concourse I stared at the book in my hands. The Purpose Driven Life. I wanted that kind of life. As I paused, the Lord spoke a word to me I will never forget. It has become a signature phrase in my life. He said, "Barbara, I don't need you to do something for me. I just need you to be. " B...just B. I ponder His words to me often.
The Lord doesn't 'need' me or you to 'do something' for Him. He wants to 'do something' in us AND through us . That is how the world will see Jesus, not by our own efforts. My 'purpose' is to b connected to HIM, the true vine. Without Him, I can 'do' nothing. I am called to Be. You are too.
In Shakespeare's Hamlet, he said these words,
To Be or Not to Be? That is the question.
This is not the end of my 'B' story. I will forever B His Girl!