Our Focus vs His Focus
In every day life, we will encounter people that are hurt, broken, and are looking for direction. But most of the time we will walk right past them never knowing their needs. Why? Because in the hectic pace of life we can find ourselves consumed with our own needs, never considering the Father’s. The sad girl on the park bench, the young man pacing the sidewalk, or the homeless man that we refuse to make eye contact with may be crying out on the inside “God if you are real, would you show me?” So God places them in our path, but we cant be bothered because our ice cream is melting or the game is about to begin – we have a schedule to keep!
The Gospel Can Be Inconvenient
Recently, I was reminded of my own shortcomings in this area on a trip to a local lake. I had planned to spend a nice relaxing “self-absorbed” 90 minutes bait casting for bass. As I stepped down the stairs leading to the water, I locked eyes with a young man who looked like he was in deep contemplation. I asked him if he was enjoying the nice weather and he said he was practicing his wedding vows for his big day that was coming up soon. After sharing marital advice that I had accumulated over 26 years, Steve said, “you sound like a Pastor, in fact you all sound the same!” Steve had grown up in the church, was hurt in the church, and had not spoken to God in over 10 years. The stories of pain, rejection, and hypocrisy that he had experienced brought me to tears. “Why would God let this happen to me if he was real? I hate church, and I hate pastors!”
The Gift of Time
After listening and gently ministering for over 60 minutes, the Holy Spirit began to work on Steve’s heart and I could see his attitude towards God begin to soften. I asked him, “Would you let me pray over you?” He cautiously agreed, and a few moments later he was inviting Jesus back into his life!
I never got to make a single cast that night, my line was dry and my lure never hit the water. I thought I was going to fish, in a way I guess I actually did.