It was just a text from a friend three years ago.
Friend: I’m taking a yoga class twice a week. You should join me.
She could not have known that was my secret New Years Resolution that year. I was about to give up on it because how do you find a class? make yourself go? not feel like a total beginner even though you are?
Me: Are any men from church in the class?
Friend: No! What? That’s a weird question.
Me: Sorry, but that’s a deal breaker for me. No yoga with church men.
I went. I loved it. Now I have been practicing yoga for three years. This week I held a yoga postion called the Wild Thing (pictured) for longer than you might think and was so proud. I’m 100 percent sure I did not look like the person in the picture when I did it.
That one invitational text transformed me, body, mind and spirit. Thank God for my friend’s invitation. I asked her later why she invited me of all the people she knew. She told me “I don’t know, you just kept coming to mind.”
I’m in a season right now of back to back Women’s Retreats, keynoting three in a row. Last weekend the theme was Celebrating Women and I asked the women to share the best thing another woman had done for them. Woven in and out of the answers were invitations. I was invited to Bible Study…Book Club…into a friendship circle…and it changed everything for my life, faith, outlook.
My family moved from one town to another when I was in sixth grade. I still remember showing up at a new church for a Sunday night youth gathering feeling incredibly awkward and alone. While I stood there wavering in the doorway, a girl my age named Melissa that I’d never met before came over and invited me to sit with her at the pizza dinner. She was a chatty one who made me feel right at home.
I am a pastor today, 30 plus years later, because of the power of her invitation.
If you multiplied out all the baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals, hospital calls, sermons, messages, retreats, worship services, new ministries and death beds I’ve been present at, you would see the stunning power of God’s math at work. One invitation can equal so many lives changed.
What if Melissa had just been content to sit with her old friends and enjoy pizza that night instead of noticing the shy girl in the doorway?
I may never have returned, my life taking a whole different direction. I believe that.
I am convinced someone is out there who needs your invitation. Only the kind that you can deliver…to yoga, pizza, coffee or lunch…to worship or your small group or that project you are working on to help others.
God’s math: it never has made sense.
Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, wife, mother of three, Mosa to Keller and Pace and breast cancer survivor. To sign up for extra content each month go to http://www.drcindyryanblog.com/circle and become a part of Dr. Ryan’s Inner Circle. Speaking of invitations, women in the Dallas-Ft. Worth you have been invited to be spontaneous. A few spots have been made available in a previously sold out retreat this weekend January 31-February 1 at Martin United Methodist Church in Bedford. It is a Soul Spa event with Dr. Ryan speaking. See http://www.drcindyryanblog.com/events for more information. You can attend on Friday night and Saturday or Saturday only. It is a sleep in your own bed retreat.