Monday, September 12, 2016

Must Be Present to Win.

Those words are pretty universal for things like contests and drawings.  More than once I've been the one drawing a name, only to have the person not be there--and we move on to the next winner.  This past week though, I was on the other side...more than once.

I had the joy of going to the Christian Music Broadcasters "Momentum" conference in Orlando, Florida.  The speakers and music were amazing, but so are the interactions with people.  It's the balancing that I have trouble with.

So, back to the drawings.  One of my dearest friends was having a rough afternoon on the second day of the conference.  I texted if she wanted company, she said yes, so off I went and the two of us had a good heart-to-heart.  The next drawing was for an iPad Mini.  My name was picked.  I wasn't there.  I didn't win.

The next day, I vowed not to be late, but I got to talking with some wise women about health issues.  Then I sped down to the business center to mail a box home.  The hallway is always a temptation with me--a volunteer I love and get to hug--a industry co-hort who I get to share a smile with.  The second I walk into the ballroom, I get the news--my name was just picked again; this time for a $250 restaurant gift card.  Again, I'm empty-handed, and craving Mexican food.

Who gets drawn twice and misses winning both time?  Well, me.
But still, I'm the luckiest girl in the room!

So back to the rules of the contest:  "Must Be Present to Win."  It's true--I wasn't in the room both times my name was called.  However I was present in a few different ways.  I was present for an ill friend who I hope I was able to encourage.  I was present for a volunteer who I hugged.

Where is God asking you to be present?  At home?  At church?  At work?  At His throne?  Am I bummed about not winning and iPad.  Yes.  Do I wish I could treat my family to a dinner out?  Sure.  Am I super embarrassed about being laughed at during a conference?  You betcha.  Am I thankful God used it in a way to show me the areas of my life I'm neglecting?  Definitely.

1 Peter 4:10
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received
to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Terese Main is a morning co-host at Family Life, a network of nearly 70 Christian radio stations across New York and Pennsylvania (  She also provides imaging voicework for stations in Florida, California, Minnesota, Virginia and Wisconsin (  


  1. What an amazing perspective. -Tom

  2. I heard more groans than laughs!! You are loved and your MANY friends were like "Oh no!!" Was great to see you. - Barry

  3. Lots of people wanted them to wait. You're a winner in my book. Thanks for the reminder of what matters most.

  4. No laughter was "oh no!!" both times. Such a great perspective, you're most definitely a big winner!!