Jun 2, 2007

A Broken Down Truck and Jesus

Hey, it is going to take me a little bit to set this one up and it may seem like pointless rambling, but PLEASE bear through til the end… God is SO good!

Well… as some of you know (and many of you don’t), I am back in SC for the summer working for my old company Palmetto Residential Electric. I love this job and especially this company. God is SO good to have given me such a wonderful, Christian boss. It is also SO good to come back after a year and a half of working elsewhere and be received with (literal) open arms and still held in the same respect (or better) as you left with (at least from those that are still there, the other don’t know me). Simply being able to be “acknowledged as” and “held in esteem as” an electrician is refreshing. I know that I know my stuff, but in KY that doesn’t matter unless you are a part of the “good ole boy” system… but that is a rant for another day :) Anyway, on I ramble… One of the great blessings of coming home (and the purpose for the above rabbit chase) is that my boss ALWAYS makes sure that I have a truck right away. We drive these company trucks home and to the job site, which means that we don’t pay gas or have to worry about nail-holes in our tires.

Now to get to the point of this whole fist section… I have been driving back and forth from Charleston to the Hilton Head, SC / Savannah GA area where my company has a new shop (and thus needs help). So, I’ve been driving “my truck” up and down the highways. The other day I was bragging that though that truck is one of the worst on gas, it is one of the best trucks mechanically… that it had served well for a long time and was still running strong.

Well… as you may have guessed, we broke down. It was Friday and I had a helper with me and we were heading back to Charleston (under time constraints) in order to be able to pick up our paychecks before the weekend. Now, for the record, this truck has been reliable mechanically, but other things (such as the a/c, the gas gauge and so on, quit working some time ago - and also BTW, I don’t know what it is with me and vehicles that don’t have air!). That said, I have to keep track of the mileage in order to know when to fill up. I usually fill up at 350 and the trip meter was as 289. As we passed a gas station (it was the grace of God that this happened at the only gas station within about an hour and a half), the truck started revving down and we coasted to a stop. I thought it was way too early for gas, but walked to the gas station and got a gallon… still wouldn’t start. Anyway, to skip the details I have been told I include way too much, it would have been a three hour wait (at least) to be towed or picked up. Yet, God is faithful and another mechanic was heading our way (also to go back to Charleston). Thus, he picked us up and we were on our way.

Now, you may be wondering why I’m boring you with all of this stuff… Ok, I could tell you about being a witness in the way that I handled everything and so on, and it is true. However, the long ride back provided some interesting conversation. I listened and tried to be interested as they talked of Mexican dancing bars and drinking and so on, and once in a while chimed in where it was appropriate (such as dancing – thanks Bryant). We dropped off the helper and went to the shop, loaded some wire, and so on. Then, he started asking me about myself (since he had started since I left) and about school (yes, we (seminarians) all know this awkward moment as we wait to see how they will react). He then started asking me all kinds of questions from Christian history to sin issues. I was so excited and surprised. Yes, I know I shouldn’t have been surprised, but rarely does the Lord “hand me someone on a silver platter” that way (hah!, take that Herodias!!!). Anyway, we probably sat in that truck for about 2 hours and he was SO close… he was peering into the pool, but just not quite willing to jump in. He was hung up where so many are, thinking that he must first clean up his life and then come to Jesus. He had no problem admitting that he was sinful and that he didn’t follow Jesus, per se (though he didn’t want to seem worse than anyone else). He felt that Jesus was real and that he was probably the answer, but he wasn’t sure if he could “give up” the “guilty pleasures” in life. There was the bottom line. The beautiful thing to this is that he realizes that there is obligation and duty (which is something that we Christians could sometimes learn from), that commitment is required. I commended him on this understanding and then discussed that coming to Christ is a matter of coming “as is” and that Christ through the Holy Spirit would change his desires… that it is no longer “I can’t,” but “I no longer desire.” Another really exciting thing from this conversation is that he can remember specific times (well, at least one OTHER specific time) that he KNEW the Spirit of God was reaching out to him!!! Folks, that was his terminology, not mine… he actually reached out his hand, emulating the way he felt God calling him. Though I didn’t shrink from the truth, I did not end this conversation with a specific challenge, something some may scold me for, as I felt that the Spirit was working on him and, at least for the moment, it was better to leave it there. I just gave him a general challenge and encouraged him to continue to meditate upon these things and to listen to the Spirit. He thanked me for being willing to talk with him and answer questions and not just “get in his face and tell him he was going to hell” (though, again, I did discuss hell and the destiny of all who are not in Christ, just not in a judging manner). I thanked him for the conversation and assured him that he was not bothering me (he was genuinely worried that I would be annoyed by all the questions), and that I LIVED for conversations like this. We parted ways, committing to talk again (but by this time it was late and we were both very tired).

So, what’s my point in this post… am I going to write about every single witnessing encounter? Well, the answer is no, I am not going to write about all of them. My point is two-fold. My first point is that this is the first full gospel presentation (note: not full-gospel :) I have had the privilege of being a part of since being back home. That said, my true first point is to ask you guys to pray for Craig as the Spirit is mightily at work in him right now and for me as I seek to be a wise and willing signpost. My second point is to bring the ministry here to your mind with a real example and ask you to pray for more opportunities and for spiritual fruit.

May the Lord reap in His harvest and may I be a faithful laborer!

1 comment:

A-Hawk said...

Update as of June 6, 2007

Have not had a chance to work with Craig again, but keep praying. Only talked with him for a minute, but a positive conversation today.

One guy that I spoke with a long time ago got saved since the last time I was home!!!!!!!

There are several others that I am talking with, but only one of those “several” seems at all receptive, but he is a “stand back and watcher.” Thus, please pray for the ones that don’t “seem” receptive and for this other one that is observing… he is at that time in his life where it is just time to change… so let’s pray he goes down the correct “fork.”

Still miss you all and look forward to some fellowship when I get back :)