Years ago I went to visit a man to talk to him about the Lord. I didn’t call ahead, I just dropped in unannounced. It was just after the supper hour. He didn’t answer the door but sent his wife. She welcomed us in and spoke to us in a whisper like a librarian.
“He watches â€˜Wheel of Fortune’ every night.” She said quietly. “If you want to you can watch it with him, if you are careful to be quiet. He doesn’t like any interruptions. When the program is over he will talk to you.”
We agreed to wait for him to watch his game show. He didn’t acknowledge our presence at all during the show or the commercials. He took a kitchen chair and pulled it up to within two feet of the television and did not move back until the program was over.
When the program ended he put the chair away, greeted us and offered us a treat from the freezer. We had a pleasant chat and I thanked him for visiting our services. I tried to talk with him about eternal things. He was civil and pleasant but otherwise disinterested in in-depth discussion.
We thanked him for his welcome and left. I never saw him in church again. A few weeks later he was changing a light bulb in his garage, fell from a step ladder and hit his head. He never recovered from the fall. Within a short time he was dead. When I visited him he didn’t know that he was only a few weeks from meeting God but he was more interested in his game show than discussing eternal things.
Do you give your time and attention to things that are empty? Have you sufficiently considered eternal things? How long will it be until eternity begins for you? None of us knows how many more years on earth we have, or how many months, or even how many days or hours. How many days do you have to see that you are right with God and others? How many days will you have to forgive those who have hurt you? How many days will you have to love the people around you?
Panera Bread in South Bend, Indiana
January 1, 2007