Now that I am retired, and preach only three times a week, I all in a sudden have time to spare every once in a while! A novel experience, and not unpleasant at all….
As newly retired people often do, I have been looking back at my time in active service, there is much to remember, and many memories are pretty hilarious – as I keep a selective memory, I mostly remember pleasant things, which is a grace to be grateful for!
Let me share a story that started as a joke, but then became reality!
I once heard a story of a preacherman who had visited a place, he had been there for a week for a series of revival meetings. When he was thanked with flowers and flowery speech at the end of the last meeting, he himself also offered his thanks for having been chosen as speaker.
An elderly man in the congregation rose to his feets and replied ”Don´t let it get to your head, you were only fourth on the list of preachers we had thought of for this!”
I remember I thought this was a good story when I heard it, but I was pretty sure it was a made up one. I just couldn´t get myself to believe that someone would actually say something like that!
Well, some fifteen years ago a lady called me on the phone and asked if I had a mind for coming to her congregation and do some preaching. I watched the date up in my calendar and said it was OK with me.
Then I heard a great sigh of relief in the other end of the line, and then she said: ”I had already called just every pastor and preacher I could think of, and nobody could come, and I was already thinking that we might have to postpone the whole thing! But then I thought I could give you a call, just as a last resort…”
Isn´t it wonderful to feel really needed!
I put the phone down, and then I laughed until I cried.
The joke hade become reality!
People can, it seems, blurt out almost anything without thinking!
But, you better not let things like this get to your head, not one way nor the other!
I went there, and we had good, blessed meetings, and it seemed to me that maybe those other, more gifted and wellknown preachers had said their no, thanks for a reason: to let me know that even if I am a fourth in line-guy, the Lord still can use me, if He is so inclined!
And that goes for all of us.
Before our fellow Christians we might be lined up as a queu, one standing in front, another behind, but before the Lord we stand side by side!
In His eyes we are all sinners, saved by grace and serving by grace, and all that has any real, spiritual value in our lives comes from Him, not from us…