I once heard a pastor who is still being used mightily by God say:
“When making decisons about your life, you want to ask yourself this question, “What will be important one hundred years from now?”
Let me explain. No, let me sum up:
I’m 52 years of age. Unless some type of miracle happens, one hundred years from now, I will be dead. That means that I will be in my eternal home. So, to make decisions that will be important then, means I make decisions now that will be important in the light of eternity. That changes alot of things. It also cuts out a lot of “baloney”!
I just returned from feeding the teachers and staff members at Leonard Middle School here in Fort Worth. What a great group of people! They spend their time teaching children who are from a community that has many challenges. I know that to be true – we spent all summer feeding many of the kids in the apartment complexes in the community where Leonard is located. We fed there because many of the kids are home during the day. Their parents work and cannot afford daycare. They are what we casually term “latch key” kids. When we talk about them, we shake our heads and wonder how people can leave their kids by themselves.
That’s an easy question to ask if you are observing the problem from somewhere other than Las Vegas Trail or Calmont Avenue or Normandale Street. Being there – seeing their faces; hearing about their lives gives you a different viewpoint than from the comfort of the living room. When I leave the safety of my world and enter theirs, I get a perspective that is easy to miss and that perspective causes my “pontifications” about their lives to seem unimportant.
You see, being there makes something unexpected happen: you fall in love with them. They are not faceless kids to me. They have names – Joshua, Brenda, Marcus……
So many times, I have cried out to God, “Lord, give me your heart for the hurting and the struggling!” I pray that prayer sincerely but I pray it from the “safety” of my world. I didn’t realize that to truly love someone means that you enter their world and spend time seeing the “demons” they fight on a daily basis. I have never sweated as much as I did this summer walking the streets of that area, knocking on doors, looking for those in need, but let me tell you, I’ve never been happier!
Now, to me – they are not people who are easy to judge from a “safe perch” nor are they statistics or topics of discussion or a problem to be solved – they are mine and I cannot leave them!
Yes, I could be spending all my time behind closed doors praying for my area. I could reach out to those who are “safe” and able to scratch my back after I scratch theirs. But, when I think about what is going to be important one hundred years from now, I have to leave the “safety” of my office and my home and spend time in the area from which I hear God calling to me.
Keith Green once wrote in song: “Some people want to live their lives within the sound of chapel bells, but I want to make my home a yard from the gate of hell.”
I couldn’t agree more. The world is asking: is there any reality to this man named “Jesus”? Pull out that old bracelet that was popular a few years ago and look at it. “WWJD”
What would Jesus do?
I’ll be back “home” at Leonard on Monday, welcoming “my kids” back to school. I know Jesus will be there.
Isaiah 6:8: “I heard the voice of the Lord saying: ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’ And He said, ‘Go….'”.
Maybe He is calling us to be the answer to our own prayers!