(If you read nothing else, the AUTHOR’S NOTE at the bottom is worth this entire post).
GOLD, ANYONE?: Many times, when we think of a reward–like for answering a lost dog poster with the mangy mutt in question–we see a check. Or an accolade, even if it’s not a public one. A simple thank you would suffice.
GOLDEN ARCH PRAYERS: I was in McDonald’s yesterday at the request of my wife for a last minute, impromptu lunch with my darling children and my hott wife. (Yes, hott with two t’s). I love having the luxury of being able to slip out for such events. Lord knows I can’t resist french fires of any sort.
While standing in line, I noticed the man in front of me. His left hand was severely crippled, fingers gnarled. Before I could let my mind convince me otherwise, as it has the habit of doing, I put a hand on the big dude’s shoulder, introduced myself, and asked if I could pray for his hand. Surprisingly he said yes. I prayed a quick, “be healed” type of prayer as one might in a McD’s lunch line, and then bought the guy’s milkshake. Later, I found him in his chair, explaining further that Jesus desired and would in fact heal him.
“But I’ve had this condition for a long time,” he explained. “Since I was a little boy.”
“You know, that’s nothing for Jesus.”
I gave him an encouraging smile, explained that all he needed to do was put his hope in Jesus. And let him be.
Five minutes later, while eating my Filet-o-Fish in the playground room, I noticed a guy in his 30’s limping with the use of a cane. I felt the same quickening in my spirit and decided, once again, to act before my rational self got in the way. “Excuse me, sir, but what’s up with your leg?” A former US Army soldier, he explained it was his lower back, injured during training. Figuring I had nothing to lose and he had everything to gain, I asked if he’d like prayer. Yes, again. I placed my hand on his back, asked him if he believed Jesus could heal him, and then prayed for a creative miracle.
BMX IS BACK: I didn’t see either man healed on the spot that day, but as I drove back to the church, I found a pro-biker for GT Bikes in our back parking lot, looking for a place to park his massive bike-ramp/sponsor-trailer for a few weeks. Being an X-Games nut, I was only too happy to explain that his wish would be granted, and I’d love for him to do a demo for our Rock The Summer event on the 17th. I was able to sow a few seeds into his life, and I’m stoked that we’re going to get to love on this guy in two weeks…a total set up.
GUITAR SALVATION: Then, as I walked back into the church lobby, there was a man sitting in our coffee area playing guitar. I had never seen him before, so I struck up a conversation with him, and within minutes we were sharing songs with each other. In less than twenty minutes this guy, who looked rather bedraggled, explained that his mother had just died, his girl friend had left him, and he was going no where.
“But I don’t want to come to God just because everything in my life is a mess. I want to come because I’m making a real commitment.”
“An honorable notion,” I replied. “But seeing as how your life will never truly get better without him, it’s a flawed notion.” By 2:30pm I had the chance to lead Gary to the Lord and we’re helping him start a new life in Jesus.
SO, NO GOLD?: What does any of this have to do with reward? As I sat back down in front of my iMac, I felt as though I was floating. Joy. Pure, untainted joy. Not a pay check. Not a thank you card. Just joy.
The Father placed such a high price on joy that it was the single reward for Jesus’ obedience to the cross (Heb. 12:2). I’m convinced it is the single most important heavenly commodity in the life of the Believer. No matter the country, the financial condition of the economy, the plight of the people, or the severity of the government, there is one great reward that is universal in all the earth, sought by those who truly know their Lord. Joy.
And then I realized that boldness is not so much some overwhelming feeling as it is me obeying the Holy Spirit before my head figures out what I’m about to do. I’m just trying to train it to realize that joy is the reward. I healthy addiction, I think. ch:
AUTHOR’S NOTE: It’s worth noting that in the time it took me to edit this post (10pm EST), I heard some boys yelling on my dirt road, a gun shot, and then a whole bunch more yelling. I jumped in my truck, peeled out, and pretty much freaked them out as they had no idea someone lived “way out here.” After helping them through their puppy-dog lie of, “yeah, we heard that gun shot, too mister, but don’t know who did it,” with a simple question of who else they saw exactly on this 5,000 acre nature conservancy dirt road at 10pm, they finally confessed to accidentally hitting and then shooting a porcupine on my property and getting their truck stuck. Then one of the kids noticed me from speaking at his high school and I made them make a deal with me: “I get you unstuck, you come to our youth group.” I got their names and all three boys shook on it.
Sometimes being bald, bold, and driving a big truck can bring you some joy; and being quick and making a deal with three young guys to come to your youth group is pretty cool, too. I give them to the end of the month before they’re saved. (They don’t have a chance). Reckless youth beware: you might just get saved in the process of being stupid.