Within a two-day period recently I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster. My day was going fine until I started a conversation with a friend of mine, “Ted.” Before I knew it an argument arose.
Even though I did not start it, I was not able to just turn around and walk away. I figure now that it was my sinful nature and pride (even though “I knew I was right”). This happened before, with the same results. Why is it that two supposedly level headed people can’t agree to disagree? Bummer!
Around the same time, Barb and I attended an evening Bible study with friends of an apartment building, of which I am coordinator. Our team of teachers consists of five people from our church, who rotate that responsibility. We meet twice a month and are studying the Book of Acts.
The night before we met, I was told by a young man on our team, who has been on the team for two plus years, and who started his senior year in high school this year, that he was retiring from the team because of his studies and various other commitments.
He was one member of a team of five who visited Japan this summer as short term missionaries who served at two youth camps helping to lead young people to Jesus. Since this was his last night with the group, I asked him to tell the Bible study about his trip to Japan and how he was blessed by it. He did an excellent job in doing so.
It just happened that the leader of the study that night, a retired pastor, recently returned from Rwanda. His team’s objective was to teach two groups of about 180 pastors each the Book of Ephesians so those pastors could return to their churches prepared to teach Ephesians to their congregations. This is especially valuable for the native pastors because they have received little previous training and Bibles in their language are scarce.
On short notice, I asked him if he would report to the group for about 10 minutes also. He and his wife captivated the Bible study group! He ran well over his allotted time and glanced at me to see if he should continue. There was interaction from our apartment friends asking questions and making comments like never before. Some even asked him to continue. He obviously did and ran about ten minutes past the Bible study time without reading one verse of scripture. This was absolutely fine because he was bringing the Book of Acts to life by putting it into ACTion. Wonderful!
The next day, I read a blog that is published each weekday by a friend of ours. She is excellent in writing about everyday events and citing how Scripture applies to them. She related a recent time in a grocery store when she greeted an employee in the customer service department whom she had spoken to previously. “Mrs. Blog’s” spirits were lifted when her friend in customer service asked her how her recently born granddaughter was. Just the fact that the lady remembered she had a new granddaughter really impressed her. Wonderful!
The same day, I met briefly with a lady I have known for several years, I’ll call her Bernadette. She was facing a problem that according to her was an injustice. Only hearing one side of the story, it certainly seemed to me that she was right. As she was telling me her story, I told her that I was starting to sweat as I listened to the details. I knew I was becoming emotionally involved. Bummer!
Later in the day I was driving to the barbershop to meet my daughter-in-law, since I was scheduled to get my hair cut along with her two boys. I was still upset about Bernadette’s problem when I drove past an older man mowing his lawn on his riding tractor. Our eyes met and he gave me a little wave. Just that little wave was a great encouragement to me.
I drove a couple of blocks and had to turn around to go back and thank him. He stopped his tractor and we talked for several minutes. I told him briefly about my day and how much just his little wave meant to me. It turned out we had something in common: He loves the Lord too! He provided me with his email address and I did email him, thanking him again. He emailed me back and ended his email by saying: “If waving my hand is of help to anyone I want to wave to everybody I meet [see].” Wonderful!
What significance do the above events have? Our lives are filled with both sunshine and storms and even rainbows when we take the time to look for them!