I was late, but what else is new! I overslept - and it felt good! I hurried to try to make up precious seconds. When the $2.15 pill I had intended to swallow rimmed the bathroom sink and disappeared down the drain, I knew things just might get worse before they got any better!
Of all mornings to be low on gas, why did it have to be on Sunday morning? However, there was no option short of walking. And really, I don’t mind sharing the road, but did that immense herd of cyclists have to choose this route, the same one I was traveling, to raise the money they needed for their worthwhile charity?
Oh, and another thing, do traffic lights receive special training in Murphy’s Law? A corollary of Murphy’s Law ought to read, “If one is late for an appointment, and traffic lights are in his/her path, they will sequence to red such that they will inflict the maximum amount of painful delay.” Given the circumstances, do we really even need traffic lights? The trip continued.
As I hastily exited my car and headed for the church building, I saw someone else getting out of his car and he was just as late as I was! Gloating slightly, I said to myself, “Well at least I am not the only one!” I glanced at the Hispanic-looking gentleman as we entered into the building stride for stride. I didn’t speak to him, although I thought about it; after all there were more important things to do than speak to a stranger who was just about to make me even later! Plus, as a stranger he probably had an excuse for being late; I didn’t. The pill rolling around the sink was the clue that things were truly going to get worse before they got any better.
As I sat down in my pew, I have no idea where my mind was other than being one hundred percent sure it was not where it should have been. I don’t remember what the first hymn was, but like the rest of the congregants, I started to sing. Even now as I think back, I still don’t know what the words were. Then I heard it, a sweet alto voice behind me and slightly to my left. It reminded me of mom’s. I knew the voice was coming from Gayle, a wonderful and dedicated Black lady within our congregation. But then, another voice, deep and resonant, blended with Gayle’s; the voice was coming from almost directly behind me. I discretely glanced to see its origin. It was the Hispanic visitor who quick-stepped into the building with me. I am one hundred percent sure they had never seen one another before, yet their voices were the voices of “blood harmony.” It was just here that I took another trip, but I didn’t leave my pew.
I thought to myself: “Who but God could design things such that two people who had never laid eyes on one another could lift the spent spirits of a man of whom they probably had no conscious awareness? Who but God could blend the spirits of two apparently disparate people into one wonderful voice of praise and adoration? Who but God could cause people whose interests are so very, very different to walk together up a spiritual and emotional mountaintop where heaven itself could be glimpsed? Who but God could design the simplest of things to produce the absolute grandest of results?”
I wept! I took another trip, a wonderful trip, as I allowed God’s children to escort me into His throne-room and cause me to long for a longer journey where even grander things will unfold eternally before my eyes. It was and will be a wonderful trip!
1. Given this true story, can you deduce one reason God might have willed corporate worship?
2. Read 1 Corinthians 14.26. What is one effect God wants worship to have on congregants?
3. Who should receive the “credit” for the positive effects of corporate worship? Is it the alto singer? The bass singer? The song leader? The preacher? Who designed this experience?
4. List 5 simple things that God has used today to make your life grand? Had you noticed them earlier? Whether yes or no, pause and thank God for the simple things!
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