I was pondering my priorities today and wondering if it was at all possible to socialize to much. I have been out of the house everyday this week, attending some sort of event and/or going to lunch with friends. Bill has recently teased me that I am perfecting the art of socializing. Seriously,though, I was wondering if I was spending my time wisely and I took inventory of my week.
My week started as I attended the Marine Officers' Spouses' Club (MOSC) and Navy Officers' Spouses' Club (NOSC) Welcome event on Monday. Not only did I get to eat a yummy breakfast, touch base with some familiar faces, schedule more social outings and watch 130 of my closest friends win prizes, but I met several new friends. One of which has been wanting to get together with me to get to know me better - gotta love that!!!
Tuesday I made my way to an all to familiar stomping ground we call PWOC. This is the Protestant Women of the Chapel - an international, non-denominational organization that gathers every Tuesday at Kadena Chapel One to fellowship, worship and "do" biblestudy together. I brought a new friend, Candice, along with my faithful, not-so-new friend, Jennifer - we carpooled and chatted all the way there. I enjoyed some donut holes, worshiped with some of my newest peeps and shared praises of what God taught us through our study this week. I helped put away a few tables and chairs, downed another donut, of course, and headed to lunch. After eating, a group of us headed to a park to enjoy the adventure of a lifetime - taking a ride down a roller-slide. Not a shining moment for me, to say the least , and, unfortunately we do have pictures though they are not in my possesion. I am a big, fat chicken as I hung on for dear life all the way down and managed to catch Jenn in my fearful web!! More on that later.
Wednesday I carpooled with my friend, Julie, to the Newcomer's Brief and joined another friend to "man" our PWOC table. We had the pleasure of meeting several women who are very new to Okinawa as we shared what PWOC is and how we could help them with their transition here. As in good girl fashion, always traveling in herds, the three of us ran errands together and headed off to, yes, you guessed it, lunch.
And as if this isn't enough socializing to make your head spin I am off to lunch, again, tomorrow, with a new friend who I am looking forward to getting to know better. Then I have a nail appointment with one of my favorite Okinawan women that I'm getting to know. She speaks excellent english and I am practicing my Japanese on her. She spends most of her time laughing at me!!!
Friday is booked, too, but I won't bore you with the details!!! I'll blog about that later!!!
My point is that I spend most of my time socializing. Some would call this fellowshipping, spending time building relationships or even ministry. I call it having a whole lot of fun. But, I was starting to wonder if I was socializing to much and not getting enough of the "other" stuff done. Then I came across the devotion that I have included in this blog and received confirmation that I was building lasting relationships. All the while I was "socializing" and having fun I was praying with my friends, sharing their burdens as we discussed life here on our little island and getting to know them better. I'm not saying that eating out everyday is exactly what God's Word is suggesting but I certainly believe I am "leaving a legacy of love" through my relationships. Have you nurtured a relationship today? If not, grab a few friends and have lunch together. Even if you don't get anything else done today you'll have accomplished God's will and fulfilled a basic need!!!
One cool thing: God removed my guilt, relieved my stress and helped me still get some housework done in between all the relationship building activities!!
How to Determine What Matters Most
by Rick Warren
There are three things that will endure – faith, hope, and love – and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)
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The most important lesson God wants you to learn on earth is how to love. Here are three simple truths about love:
1. Life without love is really worthless. We often act as if relationships are something to be squeezed into our schedule. We talk about finding time for our children or making time for people in our lives. That gives the impression that relationships are just a part of our lives along with many other tasks. But God says relationships are what life is all about.
Jesus summarized what matters most to God in two statements: love God and love people. He said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart. . . . This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40 NLT).
The point of life is learning to love God and people. Life minus love equals zero.
2. Love will last forever. Another reason God tells us to make love our top priority is that it is eternal: “These three things continue forever: faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13 NCV).
Love leaves a legacy. Mother Teresa said, “It’s not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters.” Love is the secret of a lasting heritage. In our final moments, we all realize that relationships are what life is all about. Wisdom is learning that truth sooner rather than later.
3. We will be evaluated on our love. One way God measures spiritual maturity is by the quality of your relationships. In heaven God won’t say, “Tell me about your career, your bank account, and your hobbies.” Instead he will review how you treated other people, particularly those in need.
Jesus said the way to love him is to love his family and care for their practical needs: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40 NRSV).
People need to understand that when you transfer into eternity, you will leave everything else behind. All you’re taking with you is your character. That’s why the Bible says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6 NIV).
Knowing this, I encourage you to pray this simple prayer every morning: “God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend time loving you and loving other people – because that’s what life is all about. I don’t want to waste this day.”
© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved. Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th Century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers.