Ginger Littleton may not be a household name to most people, but she received quite a bit of press recently. She is the only female member of the Bay City School Board in Panama City, Fla., and on December 14, 2010, she was participating in a routine board meeting. Just before 9 p.m., 56-year-old Clay Duke interrupted the proceedings, drew a gun and ordered everyone out of the room—everyone, that is, except for the male board members.
After Ginger left the room, she quietly returned and slipped up behind the gunman, hitting his gun arm with her purse. While not successful in knocking the gun from Clay’s hand, she created quite a stir by returning to put herself in harm’s way. Ginger took the initiative, however risky, and her actions were captured on video for the world to see. The most pressing question might be, “Why?”
Motivation is considered the driving force that causes us to act in certain ways. Dr. George Erdman, President of EREN Corporation, suggests there are four major motivations in human behavior: (1) RECOGNITION – an interest in respect, regard, esteem, notoriety or celebrity; (2) INFLUENCE – an interest in power, control, competition, independence or order; (3) PROFIT – an interest in wealth, possessions, acquisitions, income or growth; and (4) INTERNAL – an interest in morals, duty, intellect, creativity, philanthropy or honor.
Motivations often get revealed in the crucible of life. Jesus gave his followers clear instructions in Acts 1. He asked them to “wait” (Acts 1:4) before he asked them to “go” (Acts 1:8). The sequencing of those instructions had a way of exposing any hidden agendas. If one of His followers was only interested in the spotlight, the miracles, the crowds, the platform or the adrenaline, then that person would have little interest in waiting.
While the waiting might have thinned out the crowd, it also helped focus the mission and led to compelling motivation for those who faithfully, prayerfully waited.
The Book of Acts associates the Holy Spirit with wind and fire, and we need those manifestations in the church today just as much as they did then. Waiting before going allows the wind of the Spirit to blow away any distractions or diversions and allows the fire of the Spirit to purify anything polluted or corrupted.
Waiting helps ensure that we will not be driven by insecurities, fear or greed. In fact, waiting before going means our motivation will be so strong that the instincts of self-preservation and survival take a backseat to the goals of rescuing and helping others. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13, NIV). May 2011 be our year of rediscovering His call to “wait” and to “go”!
Please join us as we read through the Book of Acts each day this year. Today, we are reading through chapter 3, since it’s January 3. My prayer is that the Lord will revitalize the journey of the early church in all of us in 2011.
By: Glenn Burris Jr., president of The Foursquare Church