When I was four years old, I taught myself to recite the alphabet backwards.
“Z Y X W V U T S R Q P O N M L K J I H G F E D C B A”
I can still distinctly remember sitting in the little classroom that I had set up in the corner of our back porch memorizing these letters. I would sit for hours on end (or at least that’s how I remember it… it was probably more like 15 minutes at a time) and I would study the alphabet I had written on my chalkboard backwards.
I didn’t have a particular reason for this. I just wanted to be able to do it.
My mom used to have me recite it for our family and friends all the time. It was my little talent. Oh, how I loved seeing how proud my mom was of me when I would recite those 26 letters flawlessly backwards.
That bizarre skill has served absolutely no purpose in my life other than making my four year old self feel brilliant.
I had completely forgotten about this until this story came to mind as I was soaking in the words Beth Moore had spoken during the recent Living Proof Live event I attended.
As I take a good, hard look at my life right now, I can identify areas where I am spending ridiculous amounts of time and energy working at things that serve no greater purpose than to make myself feel good. I’m spinning my wheels in order to learn the alphabet backwards (metaphorically speaking).
A-hem. That’s a hard pill to swallow.
You see, it takes work and time and devotion to learn the alphabet backwards. You have to trick your brain into thinking in a way that is counter to what society teaches. Sometimes, you realize that all of that sweat and toil didn’t do anyone any good. You studied and you memorized but you didn’t actually DO anything with this knowledge.
The phrase I kept being reminded of again and again as I reflected on this weekend’s message was: Go Be Love.
Go out there in the world and be love for the needy. For the weak. For the brokenhearted.
Beth referred to “Fruit Tasters” of faith with the term, “They.” “They” need to see tangible expressions of Christ’s love through His followers. “They” need to see us prove it; prove that our lives have been changed through the Holy Spirit.
Tangible expressions of love.
These ideas come to mind…
: Bring dinner to an elderly neighbor.
: Have coffee with a friend going through a difficult time. Then, be present and listen.
: Send a copy of your favorite book to a friend in need of encouragement.
: Create a “Blessing Bag” full of diapers or tea or cookies or groceries for a neighbor or a friend with a new baby.
: Send a loved one an unexpected card in the mail. Everyone loves finding a handwritten note of love amidst all the bills and junk mail in their mailbox.
: Create a clothing closet at a local school available to any child in need of socks or a warm coat.
: Sponsor a child through Compassion International or World Vision or HelpOneNow. Send your sponsored child a handwritten note often.
Dear friends, there are so many ways to GO and BE LOVE in your community and across the globe. I would love to hear from you with other ideas. I am challenging myself to do something each week that is a tangible expression of Christ’s love.
I am going to create a sign that says “Go Be Love” to hang on my bathroom mirror as a reminder each morning of this beautiful challenge.
Will you join me in this challenge? We can make a difference in our world.