Yesterday, while flying home on a Dallas – Denver leg, God chose the most unlikely event to drive home a point that is timely for us at Lakeside. ¬†I wasn’t looking to hear from God; in fact, I just wanted to get home with no more cancelled flights. ¬†So here is the story.
I was seated at the back of the plane in seat 25B. ¬†Most of the passengers were seated and 25A was open. ¬†GREAT! ¬†This was going to be the flight where I could stretch out. ¬†But then I saw her… a mom carrying a little boy in a frontal harness. ¬†And just that quickly, 25A disappeared. ¬†So did my hopes for a nice relaxing flight. ¬†Great attitude, eh? (That’s Canadian-ese for “huh”)
This little guy, though, had plans for me. ¬†She was barely in her seat when he stretched out his arms, wanting me to take him. ¬†His mom, wanting not to bother me, tried to pull him back. ¬†But he was determined. ¬†So there we were… and this 14 month old guy (Julian) had already won me over. ¬†I played with him a bit and fed him (or he fed himself a bottle) as he sat in my arms. ¬†His mom, who was exhausted from the trip from to visit a very ill grandfather, was thankful for the break. ¬†
As I held Julian close, God took my thoughts to a different time and a different place. ¬†Some 2,000 years ago, the God who created all that is chose to become flesh and walk among us. ¬†And I know that he held little boys like Julian on his knee. ¬†I pondered, “When Jesus held little boys like Julian, what did he think? ¬†How did he respond to these little children who seem so willing to interrupt our lives? ¬†Did he see the value of their soul and the prospect of eternity for them?” ¬†Without a doubt! ¬†When Jesus was asked about greatness in the kingdom, he responded using a little child (Matthew 18:1-6). ¬†He went on further to say that whoever welcomes a little child welcomes him (Jesus). ¬†But Jesus said much the same thing about helping the poor, caring for the sick, and visiting those in prison.
So here’s the point. ¬†In all that we do, nothing (apart from our personal walk with God)… and I mean NOTHING is a greater priority than people – big or small. ¬†Some of us are getting tired from the labor. ¬†When fatigue sets in, so does ungodly practice. ¬†We “chirp” at one another and find fault. ¬†We become short tempered and hard nosed. ¬†It’s just natural. ¬†However, the Father calls us to life life in the supernatural. ¬†Hear Jesus: “A new command I give you: Love one another. ¬†As I have loved you, so you must love one another. ¬†By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”¬†¬†Let’s not get so caught up in the tasks of the moment that we forget what the real objective is. ¬†It’s all about people and the kingdom!
Pray this with me: “Father, thanks for the way you love me unconditionally and for being so extremely patient with me. ¬†Help me to love the way you love… and help me to show it with grace and forgiveness and patience, just as you do. ¬†In the power and authority of Jesus’ name alone, Amen.
So how did my trip end? ¬†Well, when Julian started to fuss, I took him out into the aisle and walked him forward and aft in the aisle many times, all the while holding his hands so he wouldn’t fall. ¬†At one point a flight attendant asked to hold him because she was on a four day trip and was missing her little boy who was about the same age. ¬†Eventually I wore him out. ¬†I picked him up and gently bounced him in my arms until he went to sleep. ¬†Only then did I return to my seat. ¬†And Julian? ¬†Well, he slept on my shoulder all the way to the gate. ¬†He had truly touched my heart, and his mom had given me a given me a gift of unmeasurable value. ¬†To Julian I say, “God bless you little man. ¬†Jesus was right. ¬†When it comes to the kingdom, you’re the greatest”. ¬†To Mom, I just want to say, “Thanks for sharing your most precious gift with me”.
Let’s now be careful to see one another in the same light. ¬†You just never know how God might bless your life!