Sometimes we get busy… who am I kidding? We’re busy people, it’s the state we live in. Sometimes in the busyness, life goes by us and we realize we’ve allowed ourselves to become consumed by the meaningless and the potential of moments has been wasted with nothing of eternal value taking place. I do it… more often than I’d like to think. That’s not okay. Being a follower of Jesus, I am called to a higher standard… a life of value in which I deny myself and live for Him, seizing the potential of every moment, making choices and taking actions that make an eternal impact. But I’m human and my tendencies are quite opposite of this, so I’ve learned to pray… O Lord, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am. (Ps. 39:4)
As God teaches me that my days are few, I begin to understand the value of moments and the importance of seizing them for all they are worth. Paul put it well when he told us: Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of many, so that they may be saved. (I Cor. 10:31-33)
Wherever I am, I walk with purpose… so that they may be saved. My prayer is that it will become more and more natural, that my selfishness will continue to die off as I learn to not seek my own profit but the profit of many. It’s a constant struggle with my flesh… but if and when I’m truly living it out, no moment is mine. I must always be available, alert, willing, prepared and able to be used by my Redeemer, that others may be redeemed.
So it begins on the airplane. I had an agenda of what I wanted to fill those hours with, but I was also reminded that it wasn’t my moment and I chose to be available. As a result God used me touch a life of someone on the plane…
I met Juan on the flight from Miami to Manaus, Brazil. He’s Cuban, lives in San Diego, and is married to a Spaniard whose family owns a home in Brazil… random! We bonded through our common love of
San Diego! I spoke with him for the first hour or two of the flight. He shared much of his life with me and we were able to get into spiritual matters. He was raised in a Catholic environment. He believes in the Bible but not to the extent that it influences the way he lives… other than being “a good person”… and possibly going to mass once or twice in a year. I talked to him about Jesus and the way that knowing him personally has transformed my life. Through my testimony, I shared the truth of the gospel in a relevant and relatable way. He heard it. I know he heard it because he apologized over and over for not being “at that place right now” and said that he was “not ready” to make the decision to walk with Jesus. I told him there was no reason to apologize to me but that I simply wanted him to know that Jesus is very real and desires a very real relationship with him.
I am encouraged by his response. It shows me that the message was heard and pondered over… and that a seed has been planted. Paul once said, I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. (I Cor. 3:6) I pray that the seed God allowed me to plant in Juan will be watered and that God will cause it to grow over time, drawing Juan to himself. It isn’t our job to save people, but it is our job to live so that they may be saved and to trust God to use our efforts to cause growth.