Occasionally, there are life-changing moments when God’s influence suddenly shines where it’s needed most and the only word that adequately describes what happens next is miracle. My friend and his wife witnessed such a miracle.
Surfers dared to be different. Most teenagers wore blue jeans with buttoned shirts, but surfers wore corduroys with holes in the knees, T-shirts with surfer logo’s and tennis shoes with no socks. We drove mom’s car, but surfers drove converted vans with boards on top. Thanks to the influence of Beach Boy’s music and movies, surfers were cool dudes and I wanted to be one.
We’re learning as a church how to step outside our comfort zone and meet new people, hear more stories and be alert for opportunities to make an eternal difference. One way, I challenged myself to “Walk Across the Room” was by working a few days in a local Grocery store. My goal was to work in another environment and see how I could better practice on Monday what I preach on Sunday.
Many of us today are bombarded with messages of all kinds and our level of trust for anything religious is low. Maybe, it’s because we saw evangelists pleading for money while they travel the world in private jets and live in multi-million-dollar mansions. Or maybe it’s being accosted by people in long robes at airports handing out flowers and asking if we knew Jesus. For me, it’s the guy who shook my hand and his first words were “If you died today, do you know where you’re going?”
What a wild prediction: famine to feast in 24 hours or donkey head soup to chicken in every pot! Is this like election year politics filled with empty promises? But this promise isn’t made by politicians. This promise is from a prophet of God. But how? There would have to be a huge military victory followed by an economic miracle and all occurring in just one day!
A few years ago, I searched for the word “comfort” in a Bible on my computer. In seconds, there were over 60 verses. I printed five pages of encouraging scripture. At a Bible study, each person was given a copy and asked to pick a favorite verse and tell how they received comfort during crisis.
Now comes the moment of truth. It’s one thing to forgive, even to forget. The breakfast and kindness are proof. Up to this point we would have an interesting story of two friends who quarreled and made up: Interesting, but hardly life changing.
I wanted to be the perfect pastor, the perfect Christian, the perfect husband and father and so on. I was frankly more car salesman than preacher: I could be arrogant, cocky and a little difficult to live with. A pastor was someone on a pedestal, and I intended to be worthy of the highest pedestal of all.