Have you ever had a backstage pass to a high profile event? That color-coded pass is exclusive permission to mingle with the behind the scenes insiders, the movers and shakers, the power brokers, maybe even the celebrity voices of the event. But even with this right of entry, eventually you will most likely come to a closed door, manned by a refrigerator of a man in a blue and yellow windbreaker. He tells you in an authoritative voice, “Beyond this point you need a yellow pass, bucko.” It’s with dismay that you are look down upon your once revered pass to reveal that it’s a disappointing blue. “The yellow pass gives you TOTAL ACCESS,” the guard informs you. Broken-heartedly you make your way back to the crew craft table of Cheez-Its and M&Ms.
During my time at CBS, I had the opportunity to supervise many high visibility broadcasts – The Price is Right, Letterman, The Prime Time Emmys. My position not only afforded me total access, but I literally held the keys to the studio. I could go anywhere I pleased with complete authority.
The other day, at a Christian leaders’ meeting, a dear friend of mine posed a thought-provoking question: Is our presence enough? Good question. In terms of impacting lives for the Kingdom or being about our assignment of making disciples of all men, is it enough to just show up? Is it enough to be a silent witness? Is our sheer presence enough to make a difference?
After a lot of contemplation and reflection, I’ve landed upon the belief that our presence isn’t enough, but God’s Presence through us is!
As I began my tenure at CBS, the first year or two, upon God’s direction I was a quiet (differing greatly from a silent) witness. Daily I devoted myself to connecting with my co-laborers, building trust, demonstrating care and concern, and hopefully reflecting the integrity and values of a Christian man. After this season, in short order God opened the doors to talk and sometimes pray with many of my now friends. Sometimes the influence came by what I said, sometimes it was what I did, but I hoped I always reflected God’s heart. And God’s Presence was always in abundance.
What made the difference? As I journeyed to work each day, I would pray “missionally.” I would ask God to govern over my words and actions. I gave Him total access to whatever the day would bring. And I believe that God shows up in direct proportion to the access we give him into our lives. The more we are mindful of God’s presence around us, the more we yield to the leading of His Spirit, the more we ask God to use us to demonstrate His love to those He brings across our path, the more His Presence is revealed around us.
Don’t just show up. See each day as an opportunity to be about the Father’s business. Enter each day with intentionality. And give Him TOTAL ACCESS. My presence can do little, but His Presence can do all things. It is His Presence that empowers me beyond the well-intentioned, kind-hearted humanitarian.
Is my presence enough? NO. Is His? More than enough.