OK, just for fun, I have 10 off-the-wall suggestions for your next elevator ride:
- Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside ask: "Got enough air in there?"
- Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you Admiral.
- Stare, grinning, at another passenger for a while, and then announce: "I've got new socks on!"
- Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers that this is your "personal space."
- Announce in an airy voice: "I must find a more suitable host body."
- Hand out leaflets – "What to do when the lift cable breaks. The ten tips that will keep your body in one piece (although these tips will not save your life, it will make the rescue a bit cleaner, and we won't have to spend ages cleaning the blood off the walls). Hope you will live to do it again!"
- Act surprised when it starts to move and say "THE GROUND IS FALLING!"
- Pretend to be a flight attendant (particularly affective if you are dressed like one), instruct the passengers on what to do in an emergency.
- Dress up in a long, black cloak with a hood, stare, and in a deep voice announce "it is time ..."
- While the doors are opening, hurriedly whisper, "Hide it...quick!" then whistle innocently.
Or, you can walk in with an off-the-wall plan of your own, a Spirit-led, well intended, venture out of the comfort zone. Ask God to take the plan and work a wonder. After all, HE has given us HIS Spirit to empower us to do stuff beyond our comfort zones (2 Corinthians 5:5). Will this craziness work? If God nudges, it will. Solomon reminds us, Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21 NIV).
Don't shake your head like that ... You have been called by God to be more than just "saved." You have been called to feel the nudge, to step out of the comfort zone and into the unknown.
Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing (Ephesians 2:10 MSG).
God gave my buddy Bob an Elevator Op. The assignment was to listen beyond the words and respond.
Just before the elevator doors closed, Bob stepped in. "How you doing?" He greeted the stranger standing, head down in the corner.
"Fine," was the response.
Something about the downcast eyes and the tone of the voice, grabbed Bob's attention. As the door was closing Bob reacted, "I don't believe you. I think you're lying to me."
Once the door closed, the shocked stranger responded, "Well, actually this is the worst day of my life."
"I'm going to pray for you right now," Bob said. Grabbing the stranger's hand Bob prayed until the door finally opened on the lobby floor. (I'm sure the people waiting to go up were a little shocked to see the doors open and find two men holding hands ... praying.)
"No, I'm just Bob."
Bob seems to get these special assignments all the time. Perhaps it's because he responds, he takes action. (Hear Bob's FaithFeature story http://bit.ly/hp1JTs).
Take action. Here's your Elevator Op:
Pray for God to reveal hidden messages in people you meet and to give you a one word prayer for them.
Walk in and introduce yourself to anyone who is in there before you or anyone who comes in after you.
Listen for pain and fear. You have one mouth and two ears; use them in that proportion. Listen twice as much as you speak. Listen for pain, for hesitation, for confusion, for loneliness. If you miss the hidden message the first time, use these words, "Say again ...?"
Ask: "I think you need to be prayed for today. If it's OK with you, I'd like to do that now?
Pray for what God gives you — trust HIM, HE will give you a word.
Not for you? What is? If not this off-the-wall plan then leave each person with a blessing. "God Bless!" "Have a blessed day." "Be a blessing."
God is waiting for us to do something.
Oh and there is a follow up on Bob ... three weeks after Bob's elevator confrontation, he was in the same building and the elevator stranger was there again. This time the man ran up, hugged Bob and told of how his life had turned completely around.
"I want to thank you for what you said in that elevator a while back," he said.
Bob replied, "Don't thank me. I just followed God's lead."