A Humbling Experience Have you ever had one of those humbling moments when God lets you see how He has used you when you didn't even know it? You are going along living your life like normal. Trying to live a good Christian life, like you always do (at least in your good moments) and suddenly God steps into your life and hits you up the side of your head and surprises you with a glimpse of how your life is, or has, affected others. I have. I can remember at least 3 times. And let me tell you it can be a very humbling experience. The first time it happened was when I was in high school. Actually, I didn't find out about the incidence until years later from my dad but when God used me I was in high school. My dad and I were very involved in Lay Witness Missions back then. If you have never heard of them, they are a Lay Renewal program. Lay people gather at a church and share with the people of that church what Christ has meant/done for them. (By the way, dad and I went on most of these together. I have been on 12 and my 10th was dad's 20th). Dad and I have the dubious honor to have been on the team for the only Mission that was voted by the local church as a failure. I happen to know it wasn't. Let me tell you how I know. I found this story out years later from my dad, who had remained in contact with some of the people in that church. During the weekend of the mission there were 3 boys that were always seen together. If you saw one, you saw the other 2, and if you didn't see them right then you knew they were close somewhere. Two of the boys were members of the team 1 was from the town. I know for a fact that the 2 team members never stopped to consider whether or not they should include their friend from the town in everything they were doing, whether it was a general session, a party or a team planning meeting. They didn't think whether or not he should be there, they just included him. It was a matter of course. He was their friend, of course he should be there. I know they didn't think about it because, as you have probably guessed, I was one of those 2 team members. I found out later that our including him changed his life. Talk about humbling. Those of you who are, or have been, preachers, or teachers, will be able to relate to this next story very well. It's possible that it has happened to you. When it happened my church was having Sunday evening services. Those of you not familiar with the United Methodist Church should know that most UM churches do not have services on Sunday evening except on special occasions. In this case the services were lay driven. The laity ran it. The laity organized it. The laity led the singing. The laity preached. I preached at it on a fairly regular basis. The only reason that the minister was there was to serve communion, something we wanted, and the only thing the laity couldn't do themselves. On the evening this event occurred I was there, sitting in my usual seat on the front row (I'm a bad Methodist, I like sitting on the front row). I was listening to the lady that was the speaker for the evening when I suddenly heard her quote something I had said in one of my sermons a while back. Wham! Suddenly God had blindsided me and said "see, I am using you." Humbling. The last incident I am going to relate, I could possibly dredge up more if I really thought about it, but I'll make this the last one, took place probably 15-20 years ago. It was on a Wednesday night, right after choir practice. The choir was having a bit of a party. Probably someone's birthday. I was sitting beside the choir director talking. For those of you not involved in a choir you should know that choirs, especially church choirs, which tend to be not large groups, get fairly close. Face it, we can't participate easily in such things as Sunday School classes because we are always having to slip out to go warm up and practice. I was joking around with the director and said something about being a bit crazy (sanity is vastly over rated anyway) and she replied that she didn't see me that way. When encouraged to elucidate she replied that she saw me as "a man of God." Wham, again! Again, a humbling experience. I know we should strive to be people of God. And I know I try my best. But it is humbling to realize that what you are trying to do is being seen that way. So why am I relating these stories. For the same simple reason I usually tell the first one. Be careful what you say and do. Someone may be watching, or God may be using you in ways you are not be aware of, and may never know. I know about these 3 but how many other times have I done something that has influenced someone's life? How many times have I missed an opportunity to be of influence because I was careless? Sobering questions.