Reap what you sow

I was just about to leave when I saw him.

It was his T-shirt that caught my attention. The breast pocket boasted a logo with the letters “S.W.A.T.” underneath it. I said to myself, “How neat...he’s got a real S.W.A.T. shirt.”

I noticed the shirt because as I write this, I am two days away from my own SWAT adventure. To be more precise, it’s “Agents of S.W.A.T.” and it’s an original Vacation Bible School curriculum I have written. I am responsible for its skits and the coordinating Bible stories.

As I continued walking out of the gym, I turned to check out the other side of the guy’s shirt as I passed. It read “S.W.A.T.” in large letters across the upper back. Then I read what was written under it in small letters...”Spiritual Weapons & Armor Training.”

Hey, wait a minute...that can’t be...that’s my shirt...Well, that’s my VBS. I looked again. Yeah. I read it right. Except it wasn’t the 2017 VBS I’m over my head in. The T-shirt was from a 2009 children’s church curriculum my husband Keith and I produced at Trinity UMC in Conway. But how did this guy, who looked to be in his 20s or so, get a shirt?

I began sneaking around him, trying to use my phone to get pictures without him noticing and believing I’m a stalker. Mission accomplished. I decided to hang out a bit longer so I got some dumbbells and took the bench beside him. As I contemplated how to approach the question of where he got his shirt, I decided a compliment might be in order.

“I like your shirt,” I tell him.

He looks around, a bit confused, wondering if he is being spoken to and who is doing the speaking.

“I like your shirt,” I say once more.

He nods. I think.

“Ah...where did you get it, if you don’t mind my asking,” I add.

“Ah...I got it a long time ago...I don’t remember...I think it was at Trinity,” he manages to come up with.

I realize he isn’t interested in having a conversation. I compliment his choice of apparel again and let him be.

This must seem trivial. As I write this, I wonder if I’m making a big deal over nothing. But I know I am not. God is the grand Engineer and the things which seem coincidental are not. They are Him...His confirmation, and dare I say, downright affirmation. Not so much in the material produced but in the faithfulness to produce it.

Reap What You Sow 300I am challenged frequently with keeping my focus on making disciples and putting my pen to paper. You see, that is where I have been given a mission. But oh...It. Is. Hard. I am so easily distracted.

So my small encounter early this morning with a guy in a familiar T-shirt was a big encounter with the God of the universe...sweetly and tenderly assuring me that small things matter. Consistency matters. Obedience matters. Surrender to His design matters.

Keith and I have taken our SWAT inspiration from several years ago and expanded it. It’s been a long time in the recesses of our minds, but now it is in print and online.

Can I persuade you to join me on an “Agents of S.W.A.T.” VBS adventure? Spiritual Weapons & Armor Training begins Sunday, July 16, at 6 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Union United in Conway. Keith has a new and improved logo. We are desert sand instead of police black on this go around.

Every child even gets a S.W.A.T. emblazoned T-shirt. I am excited to see when and where they will turn up.