What makes a Friday good?
As I was driving to church this Friday night to hear an amazing woman speak to our congregation, I was listening to the radio. Some were talking about how the traffic was better today because so many were off work for the Good Friday holiday. Others talked about it being the start of their much needed Spring Break, so it was a "good Friday" for them.
As I approached our church parking lot, I said a silent prayer for my friend, Amy, who had the honor of giving the Good Friday message. What? A WOMAN? Speaking to a group of women and MEN on this special night of reverence and reflection of our Jesus Christ?
Indeed, a Woman...a woman of God!
She challenged us with the question of why this day would be called Good Friday, when it represents the crucifixtion of Jesus and His death.
She introduced the Greek word "agónas," which means race or course, but we actually get our English word "agony" from it. In reference to the crucifixtion and the course Jesus took to ulitmately become our Savior on this historic day, it is easy to see why "agony" could be the word describing the path He took to get to our Heart!
Amy spoke about how our personal race, or life course we are on, can very much feel like agony somedays. In true Baseball Mom 'Style' she referenced keeping our "eye on the ball" on those days that it seems so far from EASY, and definitely not GOOD. She said when we simply fix our eyes on God, He (Jesus) will be our Perfect Example, give us Strength, and be our Savior.
Ok, did you notice that word in the last sentence that I think I may actually be allergic to these days?!? PERFECT!!! As if the baseball references, and later Tennessee and Taylor Swift bits weren't enough to have me hanging on her every God-breathed word, she spoke about the PERFECT walk that Jesus walked for us.
Often I speak about how doing all things Perfectly is just not possible! It's exhausting to chase Perfection and quite frankly sets you up for failure. Yes, absolutely strive for Excellence, pursue Greatness, desire Success on your course, but allow for struggle and many moments of humility! This is what makes us human.
Jesus was a Perfect man in the eyes of the Lord. No one compares to Him, and thank goodness, because I would be crushed DAILY if My God expected Perfection from me!!!
As a teacher, and a Mom, I have always wanted to set my kids up for the best chance of success. Wanting your children to experience success and wanting them to be infallible are very different. Many times we learn more from our failures and struggles, than trying something once and achieving Perfection. This is true for us as adults too.
I am so greatful that, as Amy put it tonight, "Being a Christian doesn't mean we are to run the Perfect Race. God sent His Son to do that for us!"
See, I told you she was Good!! She ended with another brilliant and comforting thought. When we struggle on our course, remember this, "Everything we've gone through, He has gone through before us! He Perfectly submitted to His Heavenly Father."
Funny enough, I decided at the beginning of this year I wanted to start this website and prayed daily (sometimes hourly as I plugged away at my laptop!) that God would be in everything I did here. I went to church on one of those mornings that I really needed some inspiration for my writing.
After hearing Pastor Steve reference bloggers and the "Nones and the Dones" that morning from the pulpit, I thought I had my words organized for that day's article. Not even close!
I saw Amy in the courtyard right after the service and she could tell my heart was FULL that morning! I was overwhelmed with the feeling that God had answered serious prayer. My PASTOR had just pretty much spoken directly to me, suggesting I was on the right path and I just knew my "race" was beginning that day!
Little did I know it was Amy's God-breathed words, I was truly meant to hear that morning. She listened as I told her how excited I was to rush to my favorite spot to write on Sunday mornings and piece together my newest article.
I also told her I was struggling to figure out a way to organize my posts. I wanted the 'Style Your___' to be the words that catagorized my thoughts, but could not figure out how to bring in the Inspirational and Spiritual reflections in a way that made sense with "Styling" parts of your life.
She effortlessly came out with, "How about 'Style Your Heart'?"
That was IT! How had it not occurred to me, when I was imagining JUST THAT?!?
Amy, you have a gift, my friend. You have chosen to Fix your eyes on God in all that you do and not only are you an incredible Wife, Mom, Teacher, Daughter and Friend, but you were absolutely blessed with a Gift of sharing God's message with the world!
My Heart is full on this Good Friday night. I heard a beautiful message that reminds me that we do not have to run the Perfect Race! What a relief that we can take those pressures off of ourselves and lay them at the Cross.
*To watch Amy Pendergraft's Good Friday message click here.