A Day in the Life of a Pastor – When No One is Looking

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The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking.

Mia Hamm

I posted this quote today because I love the visual. It is challenging, raw and what I imagine any athlete must go through to achieve excellence in their sport. I love that it costs the athlete to gain success.

But what really distinguishes this quote is the last five words – “when nobody else is looking.” That is the part that makes me stop. We live in an age where it seems like everything is out there. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram all keep us up to speed on the lives we want to “follow.” Emails, texts, facetime, and google chats are just a few of the ways that we can get thoughts and pictures to someone almost instantly. We move fast and honestly, I don’t want to go back to no social media and snail mail. People are the most important thing and how we communicate has its positives and negatives.

But “when nobody is looking” just glares at me today. During my quiet time, “when nobody is looking,” did I give God my undivided attention or did I just find a verse that I liked? When I looked over my calendar, “when nobody is looking,” did I ask God to help me make a difference or did I sigh and think “Oh, not that?” When I did my workout, “when nobody is looking,” did I push myself a step farther or did I just give myself grace to end early? “When nobody is looking” did I speak to under my breath after a conversation with someone? “When nobody is looking” did I recognize that I was wrong in a situation and take the steps to ask for forgiveness? Better yet, did I recognize someone else was wrong in a situation and decide the best course of action was to extend forgiveness even “when nobody else is looking?” Did I stop and sit with someone who needed a moment “when nobody else is looking?” Did I show gratitude for a blessing “when nobody else is looking?” Did I do what God asked me to do, when it didn’t make sense, when it wasn’t convenient, when it wouldn’t matter to anyone else…even though “nobody else is looking?”

Mary Rita Schilke Korazan wrote one of my favorite children’s poems, “When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking.” The last stanza starts with these two lines. “When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked…” I pondered that today from God’s eyes. He doesn’t look to stick it to us, catch us red-handed, point the finger – He isn’t out to get us. He looks because He loves. When I answer the questions in the paragraph above, I have lots of “yeses” and “no’s.” Each time, He looked. He watched. And He loved.

He doesn’t stop looking and He doesn’t stop loving.

What a God.

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