When I was a kid I was a swimmer. I swam for Main Line Y in Ardmore, PA. Main Line won the team YMCA State Championship from before I was 10 until I was 16.
Danny was my first coach and he was an icon in Pennsylvania swimming (he had also been a Navy Seal). Danny taught me the phrase, “Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog,” which has been the motto of Hamme sports. I drove from West Chester to Ardmore 3-5 times a week (45 minutes one way) and I loved swimming.
It was a good sport for me, phlegmatic by nature and usually unwilling to do anything too risky. I loved the coaches, the girls I swam with, the girls I car-pooled with, and winning. I was just an average swimmer, almost never in the center lane, but hard-working and dependable.
But there was one thing I hated every year I swam. It wasn’t hard practice, land drills, or the drive. It wasn’t the long bus rides or the fact that I didn’t go to school with anyone on my team. The thing I hate most was the FUND-RAISER! Every year we were given a carton of thin mints to sell. That carton held about 24 boxes of yummy chocolate mint candies that sold for a dollar a box and all I had to do was sell those boxes and I was done for the year. No one I knew in West Chester swam with me so there was no competition for me to contend with for sales, piece of cake…right?
Wrong. Every year I took that case of mints home and hid it in my closet. I would get notes from the fund-raiser coordinator and hide them. One year I did give my dad the case and he took them into the office to sell for me. Sometimes I would eat the mints, but mostly they just hid in the closest because I couldn’t stand the idea of asking my neighbors and friends to buy anything.
When my kids went to school I never let them participate in fund-raisers. I said it was because we really didn’t have any family close by and every school in town was selling junk. No one needs junk. No one needs $12.00 a roll wrapping paper. No one needs popcorn tins. No one needs magazines or candy bars. Really it was because I still can’t stand to ask friends or neighbors to buy anything. I could never be a Girl Scout because I didn’t want to sell cookies. I never did a walk-a-thon or swim-a-thon or climbed a mountain or did any event that requires sponsors. I’d actually like to do a Walk to Cure Diabetes, since it took both my brother and my father too soon… I may do it, but I’d just pay the fee myself.
The good thing about me is that whenever someone comes to the door selling something-I always buy it! Apparently someone does need popcorn tin, girl scout cookies, wrapping paper, candy bars and even chocolate mints. Apparently it is Me!
Something tells me that before Rick and I began this season of our life in Ministry Partner Development, I should have told Rick this story. (He agrees with me…) I do realize that we are not “selling” anything. I understand that we are offering God’s people the opportunity to participate in God’s work. I totally get the fact that if someone says, “No” or “Not right now,” that its okay and that God has Ministry Partners HE is preparing who will join us at the right time. . . when they are asked. Sometimes my head has trouble communicating this truth with my heart.
Once again I find myself back in the place of complete dependence on God to do something with me and in me that I cannot imagine doing myself. Its a good place to be, this way He receives all the glory and I know truly that I am only what I allow Him to do through me.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory… Galatians 3:20