We don’t like to think about those times when we miss opportunities, whether business opportunities, relationships, events, or whatever. But miss them we do, and when we are in times of spiritual darkness, we can look back with lots of regrets, if we allow them. And I missed my share of them. There was a time some years ago, when I was off the path of my spiritual walk, and not close with the Lord. I was not attending church, was questioning my faith, and was not reading God’s word and plan for my life. In fact, I know this will be tough to read once I commit it to writing, there was a time when I didn’t even have a Bible in my possession. I outlined this story in my Testimony page, so I won’t go into detail here.
But this week it really hit home as to what I was missing out on during those years. Last night, I visited Bethany Church while at my company’s offices for a three day training session. I had been to this church before, visiting rather anonymously last time, but when I got there, a man came up and introduced himself and began a conversation, asking where I was from, was this my first time there, etc. When I explained that I was in town on business with my company, he immediately recognized the company name and asked if I knew his friend, Bob? Well, I did, but I knew Bob when he lived in Ohio, and that was years ago, how was he connected with Bethany Church? Turns out that before Bob moved to Ohio, he lived near here, and was an active member.
I was introduced around, to several people who knew Bob and his wife, and were so excited to meet someone who knew him and had somehow ended up in their midst. What an exciting evening it was, from the worship service, to the Bible study, to my brief conversation with the Pastor afterward. Seems just about everyone knew Bob.
When I got back to my hotel, the exhilaration I felt, had settled into a rather unsettled feeling that I had missed something. Imagine the fellowship I could have shared fifteen years ago, if I had, in one of my many meetings with Bob in Ohio, had share my faith and journey with him. Then I began to wonder how many other people out there were believers that I did not know were believers, that never saw the believer in me. Who else did I miss sharing Christian fellowship with, because I was too busy analyzing and rationalizing my religious beliefs and walking alone?
But maybe that’s now my new challenge, to cover that ground again, and never miss another opportunity to share what I am about with my those I meet in my travels. I started tonight, by reaching out to Bob, and letting him know that I visited his old church, met his old friends, and shared a bit of my faith journey with him by phone. Who else will I run into and actually have a second chance to share this wonderful journey we call the Christian walk?
They say “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, and even though this missed opportunity loomed large for a brief period of time, I’m not sweating it.
All in God’s time (Kairos – thanks Pastor Don, for the explanation last night)…