I am so amazed at how God works things out for our own good. I belong to an organization I am not or was not crazy about. I belong because a friend asked me to join her. I thought I would be a good friend and help her out. So, for two years I have belonged to this organization. It seemed I just didn’t fit in. The ladies were much older than I was and they seemed to be a bit standoffish. I was thinking about resigning as a member.
Recently, this same organization was having their statewide meeting in the area I live in. Some of the ladies in my group were involved in the organizing and planning of this meeting. Also, our past President is now the Statewide President. It was important to her to have her group represented. When it came to signing up I insisted I did not have the extra money to attend this weekend event. That was going to be my excuse for not going. Well, that did not work. This group had set aside scholarship money for many of us to attend. That included me. I no longer had an excuse. So, begrudgingly I went with them. I can honestly say my heart was not in it.
As I was picked up Friday all I could think of was “well, let’s get this weekend over with.” I was excited about being with the two friends I was going to spend the weekend with.
We were not staying in the hotel, but we were staying in a home close by. As we arrived to drop our belongings off in the home we would be staying at I was surprised to find the owners would be gone most of the weekend. They just turned the home over to us with a full refrigerator, snacks, and drinks.
When we got to the hotel I immediately helped with setting up Silent Auction items and doing other last minute details. The women coming in were excited. I wasn’t able to share in their excitement. That evening we were to dress in our ethnic attire or that one that we were aware of. I had bought a dress while in Jamaica that I wore this evening. As I walked into the room I began to see all the different outfits that were being worn by the women. The excitement began to rise.
As the evening went on I became more interested in what this group was actually about. I finally figured out their goals and purposes. One of the topics that evening was inequality in education and poverty in education. There was a panel of women who were prominent in their fields discussing the needs of education and poverty. I became interested and really started listening. The evening was enjoyable.
I had been asked to participate in a skit about one of the many ways they collect their money. It is called the Least Coin Fund. These women collect pennies and change to send off to help with many causes that are needed around the world. I have never really understood this fund. With me participating in this skit my eyes were opened to the understanding and realization of how important these pennies are to the areas they fund.
The one thing I have not mentioned is these women are from all walks of life, they are from all denominations and it is a very diverse group of ladies. The race of these women varied in several degrees. I began to meet women I had never come in contact with before. I soon realized I was meeting women who were totally different from me. I was really enjoying the weekend. I began to realize I enjoy meeting women of different color, creed, and religion. I love diversity!
God was opening my eyes to a whole new world. God soon reminded me of the scripture found in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew or Gentile, neither slave or free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ.” It didn’t matter how they worshipped, where they came from, or their skin color we were all sisters in Christ. We love the same God, we are concerned about the same issues and we all are willing to pitch in and help where we can. We all want to leave a legacy and make a difference in the world.
By Sunday I was beginning to feel more and more like a part of this group and this organization. I have figured out it wasn’t the women; it was me. My not understanding or taking the time to understand this organization left me out in the dark, but once I understood what this organization was about, once I saw the women excited about these causes and once I began to participate with a willing heart everything changed for me.
That’s what God calls each of us to do. We are called to participate with a willing heart. We are called to be open to his leading us and we are to understand those things he gives us to understand. We will never fully understand everything. I have found out I understand more things now since I have been on this journey for several years than when I first started out. I am sure there is more about this organization that I have to learn about and come to understand, but it will be a more enjoyable journey now.
I also challenge you to look at the groups and organizations you belong in. Are they diverse? Are you with those who think like you or look like you or worship like you? I am excited to be part of such a diverse group where I can begin to see God has plans for all of us. That he loves all of us no matter how different we really are. I am excited to be a part of a group of ladies that worship differently than I do so I can be open to what they may have to teach me and what I can share with them.
God knows what I needed in order for me to be more accepting of others and he provided. I love meeting people. I always have. I am now excited to be on a new journey where I will get the opportunity to get to know so much more. God is good all the time.
I challenge you to look at what you belong to and if there is no diversity, if you do not have the chance to get to know others who are totally different from you, if you are not afraid to open your mind and step outside the box then join a group where diversity is the key component. I can hook you up if you’d like.
As we look at others who are different from us we should not see skin color, different denominations or anything that makes us different. Instead, as we look at them we should see them as brothers and sisters in Christ; we should see them as the family we haven’t met yet.
Dear God: I realize now this organization was ordained and approved by you. You have joined these women together so we may become family; sisters in Christ sharing the work load you have given us to do. May we join hand in hand and become one in You. Bless the work we do and let us do it in love and gratitude for all you have given us. Amen