I could barely contain the excitement as I pulled away from the car wash. Everything was ready. Mini-water bottles were in each cup holder, gum and mints were in grabbing distance. A new Black Ice tree was hanging from the rear-view, the perfect playlist was on and stickers were firmly adhered on the front and back windows. With a cup of coffee in my hand and some chips stashed in the door, it was time. Time to flip the switch in the app on my phone to "Online" for the first time ever, and just like that, I'm officially an Uber and Lyft driver.
Each passenger was a new adventure. Who were they? Where were they going? Would they talk or... not? Would they like my music? Every time I would drop off a passenger I would flip the switch back to available to make sure I could get a ride from both Lyft and Uber.
The question I would get most often was, "Which do you like driving for more, Lyft or Uber?" I would always respond the same, "They are both pretty much the same, the way I see it, if I only drove for Lyft and someone was standing next to my car and requested an Uber ride, I'd never know it, and wouldn't that be a shame? If I can be, want to be available to everybody".
The way I see it, life is all about just that... availability. Wonderfully amazing things can happen when we make ourselves available. In fact, the cause of a lot of the hurt in the world is because of lack of availability. When people close themselves off and choose to not be available, friendships can be ruined, marriages fall apart and others suffer. Think about it, one of the leading epidemics in our time is fatherlessness, or said another way, unavailable fathers. When your employer needs to get a deadline met, when a friend is in a crisis, when your family needs you, to party or not to party, it all comes down to your availability.
Be Available to god
Did you know that God wants to use you? He really does.
The whole reason you were created and put on this earth was to be used by Him. Just think about that. The creator of Heaven and Earth, of everything that we see and know, wants to know you, spend time with you, and include you in his purpose and mission on the earth. So many of us though, decide that more things are more important. We don't make time for Him aside from maybe Sunday. For so many, God's got a tiny time slot and as long as we give Him that, we feel satisfied. The truth is, this is just not enough.
When the disciples were on earth after Jesus ascended into Heaven, they knew that their one goal was not to include Him in their life, it was to GIVE THEIR LIFE to Him. 100% availability. Jesus, I'll go where you want me to go, all say what you want me to say, I'll be who you want me to be. That's a whole-other-kind of living.
See, The problem is not just that the switch in the app isn't on available, it's that the phone isn't even on. It's like God is standing on a corner, wanting, needing, borderline-begging us to turn on the phone, talk to Him and become available but instead we drive right by and don't even realize it. The #1 key to being available to God is prayer. The only way our mind and heart can be in tune with him is through daily intentional time. Turning our hearts towards The Father is the only way we can know where He wants us to go and how He wants us to live.
When we finally decided that we want to be available to God, wonderfully whimsical things start happening. Life has more purpose and our days have more meaning. Jesus defined what Being available to God looks like in Matthew 22:38-40 when he said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Everything hinges on one word, one action, one commitment, LOVE.
To be available to God is to say you love him. No surprise, the same is true for other people.
Be available to others
One of the greatest gifts when can give to those around us is our lives. In fact, I believe, this is what Jesus called us to do when he asked us to join Him in His mission in the earth.
Imagine, sticking with our metaphor, that there are lost and dying people standing on the side of the street every day, asking for help –verbally or not. If we are only driving for ourselves, haven't turned on the phone, haven't switched to available, then we are going to drive right by and never know that The Savior is calling them and wanted to use us to show them The Way. What a tragedy.
In my opinion, one of the best signs of great leadership is availability. If you really want to lead others, you have to be available. That might sound like a weight or a chore, but in reality it's an amazing gift. Life is meant to be lived in the context of community. Making yourself available to those around you will put you in some of the greatest places.
Find a way to be available.
I have something I started doing about a year ago and so far it's proven to be one of the most fruitful things I've ever done. Any time I think of a person, no matter who it is, and usually no matter what time it is, I reach out to them. If time allows I'll make a phone call, but if not, just a simple text to say that I love them and I care will do. In fact, I've sent two texts just in the hour or since I've started writing this. It's a wonderful gift.
I'm not saying that you should start doing that. Just do something.
One of the most available people I know, Bob Goff, put his Phone number in the back of his best-selling book. People can call him if they want. I've emailed back and forth with him many times. Once, in fact, I asked him to be on the Podcast with me. He said no. He told me that he was in eight to nine cities per week and just simply didn't have the time. But guess what? He said no! Saying no was a response of availability. Which leads me to my final point:
You obviously can't be 100% available 100% of the time. You have to rest, have fun, and do things that recharge you. Say yes as often as possible but please, for everyone's sake, learn how to say no.
This life is such a wonderful gift. There are so many things to do and explore. God wants to use you in ways you can't imagine. Spend time with him, turn the phone on, make yourself available to Him and to those around you, I promise, you won't be disappointed.
Until next time,