Can you handle another blog that is fueled by my recent trip into the Colorado Rockies? I hope so because this one has been lingering/clinging inside my head and I need to put pen to paper (ummm fingertips to keyboard) and relieve my brain from it's grip.
The thought starts here:
I sit in the early morning light with fog rolling over the water that is just before me, where I have quietly thrown my fishing line in order to catch a trout or two. We (my fellow fishermen and I) came prepared. We knew that the fish had been biting on the bottom and on a certain type and color of bait, so this is what I had equipped myself for and followed through with. My line was straight out ahead of me, and resting, hopefully yummily looking, at the bottom of the lake. I had the right bait on, in the right color, despite the fact that applying it to the hook made my hands smell as if I had been cleaning a VERY dirty out house without gloves.
As I sat in relative silence (the birds chirping and tree branches swaying made a symphony befitting the early morning) I started to notice something slightly annoying. The fish were hitting the surface of the water. There, where the bugs land on it's glossy surface, were the rippling rings that were the remaining evidence of a fish's mouth and it's prey.
"What???" I thought to myself. "No wonder I am getting absolutely no bites on my line, because all of the fish are at the top frolicking in the endless buffet of hook free eating."
Well, it's a good thing I like quiet time, because there were no fish to be caught for me and my bottom of the lake fishing that morning.
While I sat there catching no fish, I began to think about the verses in 1 Corinthians 9:22-23
"I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you."(NKJV)
The Message has a beautiful and well written version of this and the preceding 3 verses:
19-23 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!
I started thinking about how I will sometimes decide "Yes, I will be a servant to others so that they can know Christ, but, only the kind of servant that I want to be." In light of this verse I can see that my line of thinking is about as silly as expecting to catch a fish on the surface of the water by throwing my line to the bottom of the lake.
How could I expect to show/lead/point people to Christ if I am nowhere near them or insistent on speaking a language they don't understand?
The definition of servant is: A person in the service of or act of aiding another.
Can I serve someone by continuing to do what I want instead of what they need? Can I let go of the traditional way I would go about doing things so that a wider range of people can be reached? Can I change myself and my routine and the way I do things and what is comfortable for me in order to lead those I meet into a God saved life?
Oh I do hope so. I hope that I haven't become too lazy or scared to let go of what is easy for me and meet others where they are at. I want people to know their Savior. I want more people to live lives of hope. I want more people to know and come face to face with salvation and rescue.
Soooo, I will make myself hop out of the groove I have forged in this path and start the trudge through new territory because, "[I don't] just want to talk about it. [I want] to be in on it" too!
Wanna join me?
(This is my newest blog in a weekly series where I share my thoughts behind some of my favorite scriptures out of the bible. If you want to see why I've started this weekly undertaking you can go back and read my blog called "Pirates And Their Knots...")