Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Infamous Pink Slip

I don't know that people use this term any more; but do you remember what it meant when you received a "pink slip" from your employer?

"You're fired!!!"

You have officially been relieved of your duties. Period.

I recently did a devotional for our MOPS Steering Team and one of my team (Jonnie!) asked if I would please write about it. She kept writing "Pink Slipping!" on her FB profile and people kept asking her what in the world that meant. :)

At the meeting I passed around slips of pink paper to everyone. I told them they were officially relieved of their duties. Relieved of the stress. Relieved of the worry. Relieved of the lack of sleep over their many jobs. Fired, if you will. Then I explained:

Our church has just opened the doors of it's brand new building. We have been meeting in a high school since it's conception and it is awesome to now be in our own building. We can meet when we want; have extra programs, etc. One of the monumental new things that we were able to do now was to have baptisms in our own baptistry!! In the past we have used other church's facilities, a local pool or rented a portable hot tub to do them out in a parking lot somewhere.

My children have literally NEVER had the opportunity to see a baptism because each time our church had scheduled one we have been out of town. As the service progressed and I realized that they were going to do the baptism in our service. I started nudging my husband, "Should we go get the kids?!" He, much more laid back than I, said no. We should wait until the next time so we could talk to them a bit about it first before they watched it.

As individuals publicly professed Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord and were baptized; I was moved to tears. Especially because there were several children being baptized. My joyful tears progressed into tears of guilt that my children truly had no idea what baptism is all about. What a horrible mom I was, I thought. I began to pray that my own children would have a desire to publicly follow Christ in Baptism.

By the time we got home; I had come up with 101 ways to incorporate baptism into our conversations, etc. (o.k. maybe not 101....) They were not interested AT ALL. I was crushed. As I cleaned up the dishes from lunch it dawned on me that it was not MY JOB to stir their hearts into wanting to identify publicly with the Lord. Yes, I can walk by example and present truth to them; but ultimately, they need to come to that place on their own as the Holy Spirit stirs it up within them. I felt God was handing me a pink slip and asking me to resign this task to Him.

How many times do I do this? Strive, when I need to just wait on the Lord.

How often do I allow myself to get worked up over a situation that I have no control (at all) over? Instead of resting in Him. Trusting that He has my good in mind and is in control?

He brought me to Matthew 6:25-34:
25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him..."

So what is it that you need to be relieved from? What does your "pink slip" represent? The sale of a house? A biopsy? The faith of your children? The faith of your husband? We ALL have things to release - to hand the "pink slip" to-we need to cast those cares before Him and allow Him to work. (And yes; sometimes that means we need to step out of the way...)

I encouraged the women to place the pink slip into their Bibles; to allow it to be a reminder to release our cares, stresses, and worries to the Lord; after all, it's not our job!

Waiting on Him,



Kathryn said...

A wonderful analogy, Shanda. Think pink! :-)

Daveda said...

Amen Girl! We will all be able to live more abundantly, joyfully, and powerfully, when we are trusting in the power of the Holy Spirit actively at work on our behalf!

Pam D said...

Oh, how I needed that, Shanda! My son hasn't been moved to be baptized, and he is 9. Most of the kids in his class have already been baptized, and I DO fret. So hand that pink slip over; God's timing is perfect, and it's time to give it over to Him. You are such a wonderful teacher and guide... I'll pray for your children and you can pray for mine..

Rachel said...

WOW... beautifully said! I keep having to remember that the things I see as valuable (as in applying my time and energy into them) are quite possibly not what God wants for me to strive for. Even if they are good things (like your desires for your children - and mine too). How awesome is it that God has big enough shoulders, if we just use them?

Thank you for this beautiful reminder and "permission" to fire ourselves :)

Anonymous said...

This is so good. Yes I have received many "pink slips" from the LORD, telling me "you are fired" stop with all the works and just rest in me. Wonderful post! I enjoyed it this morning.
Happy Sabbath

christy rose said...

What a wonderful analogy. God handed us our pink slip with Him the moment that Jesus rose from the dead! We were fired from our efforts of trying to live righteously on our own and yet freed to still cash in on all the benefits as if we had always done and were continuing to do that job perfectly. Jesus did our job and gave us the gift of His earnings.

Great post Shanda!

I loved it!


Dawn Jenkins said...

Oh girl that was soooo good!!! Amen, Amen, Amen!!! Where's the pink paper?

Farmgirl Paints said...

Nothing like watching a baptism service. I always cry too...that public display and voice. It's very moving.

I need a pink slip from worry probably. In the back of my mind I'm worried about my husband's job and our financial future. I know God has it covered and I know to cast my care. But sometimes we just pick it up again.

Anonymous said...

What a great reminder! I am going to put a pink slip in my Bible so I will be reminded to cast my cares on Him! I love to read your blog! You have blessed me beyond words.

One of my favorite songs is by Steven Curtis Chapman, "Be Still and Know"...have you heard it?

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, the pink slip (when we really receive it) is such a relief! I feel like resting.

Still Learning said...

What a great idea, I have to do the pink slip in my Bible. I have become a big worrier but not so much anymore. Still I would think the reminder of the pink slip would keep me encouraged that God is in control.

Thank you so much for writing this, you always encourage me.

Loved the marriage post too!


HappyascanB said...

Love this idea! I believe i'm going to find myself a pink sheet of paper for my Bible PRONTO!!!

Gretchen said...

A twist on a not-so-beloved icon. Lurve it. Great perspective shift. One I need to refocus on daily. For I tend to try to do all of God's work for Him. To be helpful and all. Ack!

Busy Mom said...

A great post! Thanks for sharing!