Do you like getting invitations? I do. We recently got a wedding invitation from a friend and it was beautiful. Crisp black and white with black ribbon and lettering. The elegant and joyful look of it makes me want to go to the wedding. Even though I do not know the couple well, I want to attend the festivities because of the invitation.
I like party invitations too. Hmmmm, if I'm really honest I just like being invited.
When I was in Seminary, I had a friend who would often call me at 2:00 in the morning to go get coffee and a hot doughnut at Krispy Kreme. (At that time I could do that and not worry about it. Now, just a lick would add 8 inches to my hips.) As soon as the phone would ring I'd jump out of bed and say, "I'll meet you downstairs." I never turned that invitation down. Not because I was a big doughnut fan, but because I was asked, included and loved my friend's company.
I have rarely turned down invitations. I have had to as an adult with responsibilities, but it is still always hard. I like pleasing people. I like feeling wanted and needed.
But there is a line.
I can remember one invitation that I turned down that cost me my best friend at the time. I was in high school. My friend K and I were inseparable. She lived in my neighborhood and if we were awake we were together. Now, we did have other friends and did things with other people on occasion.
K said she was going to throw a party at her house. I was one of the first people she invited, and I was excited about the party. Then she invited some kids that were into drugs and drinking. She said that her mom was cool with them drinking there, as long as it was at her house and no one would drink and drive. This bothered me or rather, tormented me! I didn't drink or even want to try it. My over-active good-girl-gland was waging a war with my wanting to be included and attend this party. It was illegal for kids our age to drink. I had seen my older cousins in drunken states and it had been disgusting. I did not know what to do. So at first I lied...made up an excuse not to go. Unfortunately, I wasn't very good at lying and K soon found out. I had to tell her about my reservations for not wanting to come and take part. She begged...we wont ask you to drink....but I couldn't do it. I couldn't go or even be at her house when I felt what they were doing was wrong. Our friendship ended that day.
I can't say I handled it right. I believe my convictions were right but as a insecure teen, I don't think the way I presented my case was right. K felt judged. I felt left out and alone. I have learned a lot since then, about how to say no to an invitation without the other person feeling judged.
Mike and I received an invitation this week that we can not say no to. It is an invitation to come and spend three days with our denomination's endorsement board for Army chaplaincy. We are excited because this is one of the most important steps in our pursuit of becoming an Army Chaplain family. The big interview! It will be June 1-3 so we are asking for your prayers. We have already accepted the invitation and plans are now settled. Pray though that our words will be filled with wisdom, grace and passion. Pray that God's plan for our lives will be revealed not only to us, but also to the one's who's endorsement we are seeking. This invitation will change our lives no matter which way it turns out.
There is another life changing invitation that is put to everyone. It is the invitation of Jesus Christ. Have you gotten that invitation yet? Have you received His love-gifts of salvation and eternal life with Him? You can....consider yourself now invited!