Many know that the Griswold household celebrates Valentine’s Day with a little twist – we celebrate our children! Valentine’s Day 1972 and 1975 were both special – on those specific days Todd, then Terri, came to our home. Though birthdays are September and February, both children were uniquely placed in our home on a Valentine’s Day. So we have, since then, celebrated God’s gifts to our home by reminding our children how special they are to us. Valentine’s Day is a blowout!
Now, I think this day is more than an opportunity to make Hallmark’s stock rise. It is an opportunity to say something special that can, and should, be said, all year long – “I love you!” We all know if that is the ONLY time you say it…you’re probably in trouble. If it is forced upon you by the calendar…it is probably insincere. If it is done for fear of NOT doing it…it is shallow.
But, if it happens to be one more time to say something you really mean, and you are delighted to have one more opportunity to state the obvious, it is reinforcing a really good thing.
I wonder how many more “Be My Valentine” moments we can have? One of the questions we cycle through the monthly HM reports is “how do you express thanks to people in the congregation?” It is good to lift up the people of God and remind them that you are honored to serve them, that their faithfulness is noted, and their efforts to build community, serve others, and honor God are all “appreciated.” It should state the obvious – but sometimes we need a “Hallmark Moment” to make it happen.
A friend of mine has placed a stack of thank-you notes in ready reach at his desk. Every Monday he writes one or two notes and sends them out. His testimony is “I don’t have to work very hard, even on my toughest Monday, to select more than two deserving recipients.”
Is there an “obvious” that needs to be stated in your journey? Is there an “obvious” that needs to be stated in this IDC family?
The writer of Hebrews is inspired to say that we should “exhort,” “provoke,” or “stimulate” one another to good works. Here is Hebrews 10 in The Message: “Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do, but spurring each other on, especially as we see the Big Day approaching.”
The other day, I sat around a table of leaders in our Fellowship. The assignment for opening conversation was “tell us about someone for whom you are thankful.” One by one, these seasoned and fruitful leaders told stories, often with tears in their eyes, about someone who invested in them early in their ministry…and made it happen. It is written with indelible ink on the tablets of their hearts these many years later.
Try a little intentionality in your ministry circle. Try to make a “Hallmark Moment” for the IDC family. Find a young minister and invest. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.