As a twenty something doctoral student, I spend a majority of my time in awkward situations attempting to determine if I am wise enough to share information or if my spirit of respecting my elders should determine my actions. Depending on the day, I am the passive, active listening student soaking in every ounce of knowledge or the outspoken doc student who has tons to share. It’s often weird, uncomfortable and downright scary.It is truly amazing how our environment can control the actions that we take. And while I completely agree that there is a time and a place for everything, there are some things that we should always find time for no matter the time or place.
And here is my fault.
As a college student I found that most of the time I left my spirituality at the door of the classroom. Attending a liberal institution allowed me to meet various people from various nations, ethnicity’s, races and religions. Many of whom had had very negative interactions with Christians, in particular, Southern Baptists. I didn’t want to be judged based on a picture that had been painted for me so before sharing much about my faith I took the temperature. Leslie, what in the world do you mean “took the temperature”? Well, simple, is this environment warm enough for me to share my faith? Am I comfortable enough here to talk about what I believe and share that with others? Is it okay here? I have been a thermometer for many years now, and I have gotten so good at it that many times people had no idea that I was a Christian unless they saw the cross tattooed on my wrist.
For many years, I am what I heard termed as a ‘Yo-Yo Christian’. I had very strong seasons of my faith and very weak ones. I have had seasons where my entire being was invested in serving God and seasons where I ran as far away from God as possible. At my age, I find that this is typical. We have so much and so little going on. The pressure to conform can be deafening. Though I rebuke that my faith is like a roller coaster, as a believer in second chances, I know that every situation is a lesson learned and I know that despite it all, my God remains.
So, as I embark on a journey to continue to build my relationship with Christ I find that I no longer want to be a thermometer. I no longer want to sit back and just wait to see if the temperature is right for me to be who I am in Christ. I seek instead to be a Thermostat. Now, some of you all may not know what a thermostat is. Especially if you grew up like I did. In which you were FORBIDDEN to touch that little box on the wall that controls the heat or air conditioning in the house. Either way, dearies, the little box, with all the power, that’s what I want to be. As a thermostat I AM IN CONTROL. I control my environment. As a Christian, I have the ability to share my faith and love with others around me in the way that I see fit. However, this manner, I know that my faith in Christ will not be hidden.
I am not naive to the fact that this sounds like I am going to go around slapping people with my Bible. This, lovelies, is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that I will ensure that the teaching’s of Jesus are prevalent in my every day walk with others. How so Leslie? I want my interactions with others to be painted with acts of kindness, love and grace. I want others to feel compelled to follow Christ through my actions. I want others to ask me what has changed, what is different, why am I so joyful and then I will slap them with my Bible hehe. (calm down, just kidding)
Beloveds, I want others to see Christ in me. Simple. “You are the light of the world.” Matt. 5:14, “Go ye forth and shine!” Les. 1:2
Life as a thermostat is not going to be easy. There are plenty of people that will rebuke my temperature, try to turn me down or even off and plenty of days where I just don’t feel like I want to warm others, but through this journey I ask for your prayers, your grace and your mercy. If you see me and I am not warm, ask why. And better yet, share your warmth with me on these days.
To end this lovely desire to be a thermostat, I would like to give the biggest shoutout to the best thermostat I know, my dear Candice, who has the ability to warm up any room in the world with the spirit of Christ.
Yo, listen, I love you, I care for you and I appreciate you.
Get ye up and be warm.
#shoutout to PowerPoint Church for laying this message on my heart ❤