By: Keith Olbricht
As it usually seems to go, I thought of the perfect illustration for a lesson…a few days after I taught it. I had taught from Matthew 25 and the parable of the ten virgins about the need for preparedness, and a couple of days later, the modern equivalent of the oil-in-the-lamps hit me. I was driving the bus to Pigeon Forge to CYC, and at some point along the way we stopped at a rest area. (I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you why. Lots of teenagers drinking lots of soda.) As we got ready to get back on the road (again), I was torn between amusement and annoyance to find that someone had taken the liberty of plugging their phone into my charger. MY charger. That I had plugged into the outlet on the dash. That I had the foresight to bring. “Foolish kids,” I thought to myself, “they should have known they were going to need a charger.”
Click. The perfect modern-day illustration.
Have you ever had a phone battery die on you? Of course you have. Pretty annoying, isn’t it?
What about a tire that wouldn’t roll? That can ruin your whole day.
How about a coworker who wouldn’t work? Or a lab partner in school who you had to carry through the experiments? Or a project contributor who didn’t contribute? Annoying doesn’t begin to describe what you feel.
Read 2 Corinthians 6:1–“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” We are workers together with Jesus. We know Jesus is faithful and that He is always going to do His part. Are we doing OUR part? Or does Jesus look at us like the kid who never shows up for practice but somehow expects to be a starting player on the team?
I know of some who grow discouraged when they look at the church. All they see is people sitting in the pews. They feel like no one is doing anything other than showing up and punching their ticket on Sunday morning. I’m certain that there are those like that. But we must be careful not to try to make everyone fit the same mold. But here is the thing: everyone–even in the church!–has their own priorities. Not everyone can do the same things that you can do, not everyone does things like you do them, and not everyone sees the same things on the same levels of importance. You may be doing a good work, an important work, an essential work…and you may be wondering why you can’t get anyone to help you. I beg you instead of growing discouraged to grow more determined!
But also, of course, there is this: Don’t be the worker who doesn’t work. Sometimes we sing, “There is much to do, there’s work on every hand.” Don’t we know it! Let’s make sure that the work–whatever it is–is getting done the Lord’s way!