So, last Friday, I published a post called “Complacency infects simple churches as well as institutional churches.” The point of the post was the Christians and churches can become so busy doing other things that they forget the importance of reaching out to those who are not in Christ.
While some may have thought I was ranting against others in the church, I was actually writing from the conviction that God had placed in my own heart. So, that day, I continually prayed that God would break me out of my own complacency and give me opportunities to seek and serve others.
Friday evening, just before sunset, as has been my routine for the last few weeks, I walked around our neighborhood for exercise. Sometimes my wife joins me, but I was alone this time.
Throughout the walk, I continued to pray that God would give me opportunities to reach out to others, and I tried to pay attention to what was going on around me. Toward the end of the walk, when I was pushing myself to complete my 50 minute routine, I saw a neighbor working in his yard. He had recently had some trees cut down, and he was trying to remove some of the stumps… alone… in the heat… dirty.
I did not know this neighbor. I had never met him or his family. I had never been to his house or waved at him as we walked by.
There is a short road that ends in a cul-de-sac beside this neighbor’s house. I turned onto the road and argued with God the entire time I was walking into and out of the cul-de-sac.
Yes, I had just been begging God for opportunities, and now I was explaining to him why I could not take advantage of this one that he was giving me. I didn’t like this opportunity. This is not what I had in mind.
When I returned to the road beside my neighbor’s house, I walked into his yard, introduced myself, and began helping him with his yard work. He told me he was going to work on the stumps again Saturday, so I helped him then also.
But, that’s not the point of this post.
Are we willing to reach out to people on their terms? Are we willing to do whatever, whenever, wherever God gives us opportunities? If not… (and again, I’m talking to myself)… aren’t we still stuck in our complacency?