Ready or Not
I just finished teaching a workshop at a large youth event and the teens were lined up in order to talk. There were only 15 minutes between my workshop and the next one in the same room. I am friendly, but I kept my answers short. I want always to honor the next presenter, plus I had another workshop to teach one room over. On this particular occasion, however, I eyeballed a young man who was off to one side and “kind-of” in line. He was restless, deep in thought. It was easy to see that he was struggling with something. I had five minutes left so I gently pushed by the last couple in line saying, “I need to talk to this young man.”
“How can I help you?” I asked.
“Well… It’s about God and stuff.” was his evasive reply.
I had less than 5 minutes so I sat down and focused on him. I thought I would start by finding out where he was at.
“Do you know God in a personal way, or are you on the way still?”
His name was Wes and he seemed to be relieved that I gave him the words for his thoughts, “I am on the way to God.”
“Wow, so cool! You are talking to the right person. What is holding you back from God? Is there a question or a problem?”
He thought for a few seconds then said, “I guess nothing is really holding me back.”
“So would you like to know God as your heavenly father and accept Christ’s gift of salvation now?” I ventured.
“Ya, I really would!”
Three minutes left on the clock, voices all around us and the next seminar leader was setting up his notes. I knew I would be late for the people sitting in my next workshop. This was going to have to be a one verse deal.
“Let me show you in the Bible how you can become a child of the king. It says here in Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
I explained to him that it was as easy as ABC. Admit that you are a sinner, that you have done things that have built a wall between you and God. Believe that Jesus died and rose again to remove that sin. Commit your life to Him, surrendering the control of your life to Jesus. We prayed out loud together in faith. Wes looked up with the biggest smile on his face and said, “That was awesome!”
All I could say to him before I was whisked off to my next workshop was, “Welcome home Wes!”
Paul writes to his protégé in 1 Timothy 4:2 to be ready “in season and out of season.” In other words, God will bring people for you to help when you are in a good season—when you are prepared, studied and filled up. God will bring moments of ministry when you are not in a good season—when you are not prepared, not studied and, to be honest, not even wanting to talk to people. We don’t get to pick when the open doors come to us; we just have to be always ready when the door comes, in season and out of season.
Father, as your servant let me be alert to your every lead. I give you permission to give me assignments when I don’t feel ready, capable, or even in a good mood. Lord, I will serve you in season and out of season.