So E's on her way to the NCAA tournament first round in Portland. Working for CBS. She doesn't care what she does, just as long as she gets to be there. A couple years ago, when WSU hosted that first round in Spokane, E volunteered Beve and J to help too, and though J was a runner who, every time out, carried stats to the announcers, Beve was assistant copier. Yep, post graduate degree and everything, and he mostly hung around in case E, who was the head copier for all the teams, somehow broke her index finger, lost her way in the Spokane Coliseum, fell over dead or had some other major kefuffle so couldn't press the buttons on the IBM copy machine. Needless to say, he mostly stood around, and moseyed in and out of the media buffet room. He and J were experts at knowing when the ice cream bars were put out during the day. Yep, it was quite the heavy responsibility. They all wore really attractive grey NCAA long-sleeved polos, khakis, and wore press passes so they could go anywhere they wanted in the building. I'm telling you it was a highlight of their lives. All sorts of benefits, a lot of impressive hoop, and no strenuous duties. Beve may have been the oldest volunteer (not another had a single grey hair), but he was also the most grateful one.
I was thinking about this experience while I listened to E's excited voice on the phone with her friend who got her the gig. Thinking about the idea of a press pass that gets a person into the back-rooms of an event, allows him access to all the hidden treasures, and especially, the banqueting hall. It is a picture of our exact situation in the Kingdom, isn't it? Paul says in Galatians that he 'bear[s] in his body the mark of Jesus. In 2 Corinthians,we're told that "we always carry around in our bodies the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus is revealed in our bodies.' As ones who are being saved day by day, who are being transformed by the Holy Spirit who resides in the very Temple of our bodies, it's like we have that full-access pass to the the inner places of the Kingdom. The back rooms of where God is at work on His strategy for the world? We get to sit in on those planning sessions. The banqueting hall where He hosts the great feast for us? The table is full before you. The very throne room where He reigns and showers blessings? You get to sit right at His foot. The mark you carry on your body--the Holy Spirit--allows you in. This is an amazing proposition--that we're in on all of it. That plan, that feast? We are His workmanship, set apart for love and good works. It's our privilege and responsibility to be the runners for the Kingdom. To participate with Him in impacting the world. No matter how small your contribution seems, the kindness you extend to strangers. The good you do for your neighbor. Part of your all access pass, part of being in the hidden places of His work. Those around you may think you're merely kind and good. He knows better, He knows the good that you do, the love that you give is the job you've been given, the holiest of jobs. Think about this as you go about your day. You are not your own. You're forever marked as His.