Many of you, by now, have heard my humbling story from my time doing some disaster relief in Nepal. It centers on how everyone does everything in flip flops. Walking up a mountain for 4 hours with 40-60 pounds strapped to your head and back, well then... You should be wearing flip flops. Clearing broken glass, building rubble, and debris? Clearly flip flops are your footwear of choice. It's not that there aren't shoes there; most choose the simplicity of a thin piece of rubber between two toes and under their feet to get things done.
I equate this to how we Christians, here in America, tend to tackle any problem. We tend to throw money at an issue and/or claim that we "need" this bit of equipment or that essential training before we can do something of value for the Kingdom of God. In all actuality, most of this is just encumbrance, things that get in the way of the Spirit doing something amazing in your midst. All we really need is a pair of spiritual flip flops.
The real trick is figuring out what those things are that the Holy Spirit has gifted us with. They are going to be different for everyone and certainly won't look the same from one person to the next. Over the past few weeks, I've been trying to think about what two "flip-flops" I wear. How has God uniquely knit me for His service? First, there is the desire to serve people at their point of need. Coming to the rescue, helping them in times of trouble, being side by side in ministry that may not necessarily be my own. Secondly, would be the desire to share the gospel/disciple through friendship. Meeting people and engaging them with the Word and how it can impact their lives.
If you had to strip away everything you think you "need" for ministry, what would you be left with? What, other than a relationship with the Almighty, Provider, Counselor, <insert descriptor here>, would you say is the core of who you are and how you operate in ministry if nothing else gets in the way? Is it time for you to lay some things aside in an effort to become unencumbered and allow the purity of the gospel to shine through in your ministry and your life?
Serving through love and laughter is a great way to live.