In my last post, I talked about how God needs me, as a believer, to be his light in the world.

That probably isn’t a big revelation to most believers and it isn’t a new goal for me either. However, if you are like me, for the past 40 years or so, being the light generally consisted of being “nice” to people and a “good” person.   While those are “nice” ways to be, I think God is calling me to more. Being “nice” doesn’t necessarily help anyone start exploring their faith. They don’t usually think, “Wow, you are really nice, you must be a Christian.”

Again, being nice is nice.   But realistically, is that enough? I don’t think so. I need to be actively pursuing ways to talk about Jesus and to share his awesomeness, his peace, and his grace with others.

As business owners, Mark and I have been pretty typical. Over the years, we have been careful to keep our faith and our work separate, like they are two separate categories that cannot be mixed. At first, it was because we weren’t actually that faithful so there wasn’t anything worth sharing. But after that, I think we kept it separate out of fear, fear of what people will think, of business we might lose if someone doesn’t agree, fear of people who might be offended, or fear of messing up.

But here is the thing. We work a lot. So, if I am not treating my work as a mission field, then I really don’t have much time for a mission field.  This is who I touch and where I have influence.   Sure I need to reach beyond that at some point, but I also need to make the most of what is right here in front of me at this moment.

And he said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation’” Mark 16:15

“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” Matthew 9:37-38

I am called to go into the world and proclaim the gospel, without fear.

The harvest is plentiful. There just aren’t enough laborers. Will I be a laborer?

Yes. I will.

I might not always get it right, but I’m going to give it a go.

At the end of my last post, I promised to share a couple of things that we have done to start sprinkling Christ into our business. Here are 5 things we are doing. Believe me, we need to do more, and will, but this is what is in progress to date.

  1. Private Prayer: While this might seem like the easiest thing to do, I also think it is the most important. Each day I pray that as I go into the world, God will work through me and that I will be the light He has called me to be.   Then I rest in the fact that if nothing else gets accomplished on that day, but I am a light in a dark world, a laborer for our Lord, then I have done enough. I have accomplished the most important task for the day and everything else on my list can wait.
  2. Public Prayer: If you don’t know, we own 3 retail running stores and we put on sporting events like triathlons, 5k’s and ½ marathons. At our events, I have started praying with the crowd, over the sound system with all the participants and spectators. I’m not super confident with a microphone, but I love this. It gives me the opportunity to get in front of thousands of people and encourage them through prayer.
  3. Reaching Out Through Our E-mail List: One of our most successful events is a ½ marathon called Go Girl. As the name implies, this is a ½ marathon for women. This year, we sent out the following letter to participants. It’s not as bold as it could be, but it certainly got the conversation going.

 

“So the last shall be first, and the first last.”  Matthew 20:16
Dear Jane,

As women, we are very good at doing things together.  We go to the bathroom together, we run together, shop together, eat together, we will even share a bed without getting freaked out unlike our male counterparts.   And for a community that does so much together, we need to come together on something. 

One of the things I love the most about our company is that at our core, we truly believe there is an athlete in everyone.  We don’t care how out of shape you think you are, how old you are or how overweight you are.   We believe you can finish even when you don’t believe in yourself.  And, we want to be there to watch it happen because it is amazing, exciting, and inspiring to watch each and every one of you achieve more than you thought you could.

But, one of the saddest moments of my career was last year at Go Girl KC as I watched one of the last few finishers come across the finish line only to realize that no one had stayed to cheer her on.  This was her first ½ marathon and after 4 hours of working toward the finish line, she was finally there but no one else was.  The disappointment on her face will be forever etched in my brain.

There are huge crowds for those of us that finish early, but by the time those that need it the most finish, there is no one.   Isn’t this a bit backwards?

Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love God with all your soul and all your might and that the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself.

Whether you believe in Jesus or not, I think we can all agree that this world could use a bit more of us all loving our neighbor a bit more.

At Go Girl Run Columbia next weekend, we have this opportunity.  I know it is Memorial Day weekend.  I know many of you have other commitments.  You have children, families, lots of important things.  But, if you can fit it into your schedule, I’d like to ask you to consider staying and helping me cheer in our last finishers.   We expect that to be about 11:30, and I would love for it to be the biggest, grandest finish line celebration ever.

Because, isn’t that the way it should be?  I know if that woman was my mom or my sister or my baby girl….I would want that for her.

Let’s do this thing!  I, for one, will be there for every single finisher.  I look forward to seeing each of you and hope you will join me at the finish line.

Amy Livesay
Ultramax Sports – Owner

  1. My E-mail Signature: This was also an easy thing to do. I added a verse to my e-mail signature.   Last year I had the privilege of attending the Leadership Summit at my church and hearing a number of wonderful speakers. One of those was Bill Hybels. He gave a wonderful talk about Courageous Leadership and what it takes to be a leader. Since that day, I have had the following verse on my e-mail signature line.

“Be Strong and Courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

  1. This Blog: Finally, we are going to start promoting this blog to our participants and customers. There will now be faith based posts but also active living and healthy eating posts.   When I am not writing this blog, that is what I do for “work.” I help people become active and stay active and healthy. I say “work” because it is one of my many passions so it often doesn’t feel or look like work.   It is my hope and prayer that more people can and will be encouraged by this expansion, and that as people are drawn to my posts about food choices or how to stay injury free, they might also be touched by some of my posts about Christ.

Honestly, changing this blog worries me a little. I have a little bit of fear that it won’t be Christian enough for some and too Christian for others. But, I’ll just be honest; God has called me to lead people. I know he has. And, leaders do courageous things.

Try things. Keep moving toward God even if it is just a little at a time. You will make mistakes. You won’t always succeed. You will stick your foot in your mouth on occasion. But you will grow and you will learn that God is with you always when you fail and when you succeed.

Be strong and courageous.

Do not be afraid.

Do not get discouraged.

Our God is with us always.

Hopefully someone has courageously shared their faith with you at some time. How did they do it and why did it make a difference to you?  Leave your comment at the top of this post.

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