Responding yes as a Guest

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When Ty turned four he wanted to celebrate his birthday with a dance party and homemade chocolate chip cookies on the front lawn. Turned out to be the simplest, sweetest celebration.

As we know, the size of a party is affected by the response to four little letters at the end of an invitation: RSVP.

Have you ever thought about the opposing perspectives from when you host a party and when you attend as a guest?

When we host, we’re responsible to have all the details dialed in, right?  The menu, theme, and music. Favors or no favors? Timing each course perfectly, greeting guests with a clink of a glass, and turning up the volume.

Attending a party as a guest, though. Now that’s different than hosting. Saying yes means we simply come as we are and enjoy the invitation to its fullest.

Growing up I wanted to say yes to a relationship with God but was unsure how to relate to Him personally. I charged ahead with my planner instinct and invited Him to major life events like college, marriage and moves. So generous, I know. I found myself asking His opinion about the weighty aspects because I was unsure how to connect with him in the ordinary, everyday moments. You could say I used him like a seasonal accessory.

Not until my early 30’s did I realize that I viewed faith similar to my career as an Event Manager. I believed a misguided lie that physically inviting people into my work, home and heart transferred into spiritually inviting God. Unfortunately, this put me at the center of faith.

I recognized anxiety begging me to pause and experience that it was God doing the inviting, not me.

But how? How do we shift our role from Host to Guest?

First I had to believe that He welcomes me, us in our entirety. The whole whoppin’ shebang. All our doubts, fears, and crazy thoughts. All our emotions and opinions and questions about life. He welcomes us whole. With trust established, we have a choice- do we say yes or no to His personal invitations?

Saying yes views every conversation, feeling, emotion, thought, experience and relationship as a way to know God’s heart better through it.

There were times I wanted to fling my arms out wide and stop trying so dang hard and just give up control. But I was scared because heaven forbid He didn’t invite me! What if I ceased hosting and no spiritual invites came?

What if we can let Him invite us? What if we can risk giving up control and allow him to pursue us and respond yes? Slowly my perspective shifted. Before I assumed the role of inviter, and now I notice hundreds thousands of daily invitations.

What do your faith invitations look like?

Personal faith invitations come in truth and people and prayer. They come in Scripture. But I’m finding they come in out-of-the-box ways through dreams, music, our kids. He invites through creation and art and wind rustling fall leaves.

Will you choose to trust Me with___________? He asks.

Will you say yes to knowing my heart in this job interview?
When marriage is hard and everyone on Instagram looks like they’re ooey gooey in love?
When your kids are bonkers?
When your bank account is slim?
When your circumstances are anxiety-producing?
When floods and hurricanes and pain and politics fog?

Will you say yes even when life is easy and God seems unnecessary?

Only we can respond to each invitation. Will we choose to enter? Will we choose to see How real He is? Or will we try to host because we’re super duper good at hosting?

When God manifests through classmates and co-workers and full calendars, will we follow where He is leading, even if we’re unsure what the next step looks like?

Of course faith begins with an invitation, an offering of hope. Of more. He’s pursued us relentlessly since the cross and his invitations haven’t ceased. He meets us right where we are. In the home, town, work and community we are in. Not way over there, in the future, or far away, but on the very ground we stand on. Today.

What season are you in? Where can you shift your perspective, even if your natural bent is as an inviter, and respond as a guest? What if we don’t have to manufacture or control or will faith into existence? What if we walk through the next circumstance or conversation and say yes?

Yes to living ALIVE.
Yes to seeing faith as a relationship with the Creator through each and every
person,
transition,
job interview,
financial hardship,
cancer,
unknown,
relationship,
joy,
heartache,
moment.

What if He is holding out His hand and inviting us to be known? Just as we are? Will we respond yes as a guest?

Next time Ty’s in charge of his party and I’m just gonna show up 😉

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