Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1, 2009

"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." II Peter 3:9
I recall an incident that happened when Barbara and I were on our honeymoon. It was the occasion of our first "tense moments" as a couple.
And yes, she was right, I was wrong.
We had been having an amazing time touring the incredible city of San Francisco. But as with all good things, it was coming to an end. It was time to get to the airport and return our rental car. Knowing that I needed to return the rental with a full tank of fuel, I waited until I was near the airport to pull off and find a gas station where I filled it up. I jumped off the expressway onto an access road and found a station. After getting gas, I discovered that I could not get back on the expressway at the same place I got off. That was where the fun began.
Every notice how sometimes thiry minutes seems like thirty seconds and other times it can feel like thirty hours? Guess which one this was?
I drove up and down this access road that ran parallel with the expressway where I needed to be, but could not find a way to get there. The airport was on the other side of the expressway but we couldn't get to the airport because we couldn't get on the expressway.
Becoming frantic as I traversed back and forth over the same route. I glanced at the odometer and noticed that I was within a few miles of using up my free miles. That didn't bring any comfort.
It was about that time that Barbara intruded upon my frustration with a practical suggestion, "Why don't you stop and ask someone for directions?"
That is not an option I readily entertain during the coherent moments of my life, so I can't say I was receptive to the idea then. So I did what all men do when they don't like something but are trying to avoid a confrontation - I muttered.
Undeterred, she repeated her suggestion. I responded in kind. This continued until in desparation, I pulled into a gas station and humbled myself to ask for directions. As it turned out, no one in their spoke English. In the next five stops I managed to meet four more Spanish speaking groups and some Japanese brethren, but no one who could speak enough English to help me. Finally, Heaven smiled on me and I found someone to show me the way. We got to the airport a few miies over the limit but they were gracious and had mercy on me when I shared the story with them.
In my lifetime, I have only asked for directions maybe a dozen times. Half of those were on that fateful day.
Having had that experience, I think I can relate to where many people are spiritually. They have an idea where they need to be but aren't sure how to get there, not sure who to ask, or how to ask, or even how to get an exact fix on where they are now. Or maybe they took the risk of asking someone for help, but found a person who didn't communicate with them.
Maybe you have been there. Perhaps you are there now.
I am sure you know somone like this. If not, you should. Every Believer should be intentionally building friendships with people like this in order to earn the opportunity to direct them to Jesus.
What on earth are you doing for Heaven's sake? Who are some people God has placed in your life so that He can use you to show them the way to Him? If you haven't taken the time to figure that out. Shame on you.
Before you go to bed tonight, sit down and prayfully ask God to show you who those people are in your life. Write those names down. Begin praying for their salvation. Pray for the chance to have spiritual conversations with them.