“The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.” – James Joyce
A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to a colleague’s open house. I replied that I planned to attend, placed a reminder on my calendar, and went on about my day. The morning of the event arrived and the alert from my calendar reminded me about what was to come that evening. Soon, I received a call from another guest requesting a ride for her and her friend who is also my long-time acquaintance. She said she planned to make the 25 minute drive to the friend’s house but did not want to drive the remaining 35 minutes to the open house. After determining that they both had a relaxed approach to the arrival and departure to and from the event, I happily agreed to drive them. Then I had second thoughts. Why did they want a ride? Are they heavy drinkers? What happens if I get there, don’t like the vibe, and want to leave early but they aren’t ready? Who wouldn’t want the freedom to come and go on their own terms without regard for others? The Spirit said, “just go with it and drive them.”
When the evening came, I got dressed and drove towards the friend’s house to pick the two of them up. Her residence was in a large condominium complex that functioned like a gated community. The security was very tight. Residents had barcoded decals that were electronically read. Guests were required to drive up to the gate house, show government issued identification, and wait for the guard to write down the car tag and personal information. If that was not enough, I then had to provide the resident’s name, building number and unit number. The guard paused and then took a good hard look at me, a stare lasting several seconds. I maintained eye contact with him and smiled. I wondered if I was in the wrong place. He then said, “You are here to see the ambassador?” There was a few seconds of silence as he waited for my response. I nodded yes. He then called her to confirm that she knew me and was aware of my arrival. I thought, “I know she was an ambassador in the middle of her career but I call her by her first name, not by her title.”
I drove through the gate, picked them up, and we headed to the open house. We talked and laughed about old times and caught up on life’s happenings. One thing I learned was that my acquaintance had been chronically ill for the past six years. The open house was her first outing of the season. The other guest doesn’t like to drive in unfamiliar territory at night. They were both just so thankful for the chance to have a worry-free enjoyable evening.
We arrived and settled in with the hostess and the other guests. People were in the holiday spirit and there was a very positive energy at the gathering. There were several guests present who had achieved high career status, including another former ambassador, but the event was supposed to be a holiday celebration with colleagues and friends. After a few hours of mingling and when my passengers were ready, we left. Like old friends, we talked and laughed all the way home.
As I laid down that evening, reflected on the day, and had my conversation with God, I told Him about my experience. He said, “Yes, My child! A lot happened today. Let’s go through this:
- Why so many questions about giving these people a ride to the same place you already had plans to go? As you learned, My children were suffering in ways you didn’t know. Next time, please just be eager to respond when called. When you take up your cross daily and follow Me, know that I am leading you to green pastures and by still waters. Although our relationship is intimate and personal, I frequently place several of My children in the same space. You need each other.
- The whole security experience – Well, it is a reminder that is analogous to entering My kingdom. At the appropriate time, I will send for you. Your walk is at a slow pace and is along a narrow winding road. It is My grace that will get you to the gates and you living the life I have called you to that confirms we know each other.
- Yes, you could wow a crowd telling the story of the two ambassadors. Some people in your country will go a lifetime without ever seeing one, let alone two in the same day who look like you. My question to you is what can you do to inspire the same crowd with stories of The One True King? The answer lies in the understanding that this life is not about being impressive; rather it is about leaving a Godly impression on others.
- To sum it all up, when you enter with a heart of service, an open mind, and the desire to show Me to others, you will always gain an optimistic energy and feel a positive vibe. I love you! Now go. Be My love to others…everyday…every chance you get.” “Better pass boldly into that other world, in the full glory of some passion, than fade and wither dismally with age.” – James Joyce
His word tells us, 7 And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich his kindness is, as shown in all he has done for us through Jesus Christ. 8 Because of his kindness, you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it. 10 It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. Ephesians 2 (TLB)
As I rocked in bed like a toddler in her mother’s arms, I was lulled to sleep by this song in my head: I can only imagine what it will be like when I walk by your side. I can only imagine what my eyes will see when your face is before me. I can only imagine. Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still? Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine…I can only imagine when that day comes and I find myself standing in the Son. I can only imagine when all I will do is forever, forever worship You. I can only imagine. – MercyMe, I Can Only Imagine
Until then Lord, may I always be Your ready and humble servant! – Amen