From what I can remember, I always loved first days. After the school holidays the best thing was being reunited with your people after so long, though I probably spent the holidays with them anyway. But this first day was different. It was the first day at my new job, a real, serious, grown-up job. The pressure was on. Will they like me? Is my hair laid? Face beat, eyebrows on fleek?
The mirror wasn’t agreeing, but I strutted my stuff with a confidence that said otherwise. I smiled at everyone, introduced myself to the boss and even laughed at jokes I could never see myself laughing at. I was new and I really wanted them to like me.
The general chat was going well; where have you worked before, how old are you? What do you enjoy? Then came the question, what are your hobbies? That is when the Holy Spirit spoke “church”. I batted it off by telling myself church is not my hobby and proceeded to speak about everything else.
I wanted to be seen as impartial and I wanted them to like me. Then came the next question; what are you up to this weekend? “CHURCH” the Holy Spirit prompted. It was so loud I swear they heard, at least that’s what I thought. The next five minutes felt like a life time. Identity came to mind and I started to question who I was and why I was here. I knew God was leading me somewhere, He really knows how to pick His moments!
After a long pause I answered the question by briefly mentioning church and a few other bits, but the thought of who I was wouldn’t go and I knew this is not what God wanted. Then the Holy Spirit spoke again, this time in the gentle voice that I am familiar with “I am the vine and you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him bares much fruit, without me you can do nothing”(John 15:5) then it dawned on me, blending in wasn’t the aim.
All of a sudden I realised my identity is in Christ. It was a blessing that I was even in this role and now the importance of mentioning church was so apparent. Not because it was a hobby but because Jesus abides in me and I in him, he is my foundation. This is what was missing from my heart. Now I was familiar with what God was hinting at I wanted to scream about church. It was too late to randomly interject as the conversation was well and truly over. But after realising all of this I no longer felt restricted because I knew what really defined me so the pressure of wanting people to like me started to fade and it made things that little bit easier.
I learnt the importance of taking up the opportunity to be real about my faith and not being too shy to say it. It doesn’t mean I have to go around shouting it in people’s faces, but sometimes the first chance is the best chance you’ll get. So be confident in who you are in God and speak boldly! Who do you want to please more, the crowd or God?