I have read different versions of this story before but this evening I found what I think is the actual account of what happened. I hope you enjoy it.
Are You Jesus to Others?
– Author: Wayne Norton Coffeyville, KS
Several years ago, Dr. John Claypool was the senior pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He was very much in demand as a speaker. Dr. Claypool came to a train terminal to catch a waiting train for a speaking engagement. Ahead of Dr. Claypool was a hurried businessman who was navigating through the crowd like a football player. The man was just ahead of Dr. Claypool when he rounded a corner. A disabled little boy had a table with candy, gum, and other snacks. The businessman knocked the little boy and his table to the terminal floor. The table spilled merchandise everywhere. The businessman looked at the crying little merchant and cursed him for being in the way. Dr. Claypool stopped, picked up the chair, sat the little boy in it, handed him a handkerchief, and began to retrieve all the scattered merchandise and money. After the boy was “back in business,” Dr. Claypool handed him a twenty dollar bill. The little boy stopped crying and said, “Mister, are you Jesus Christ?” Dr. Claypool smiled and replied, “No, son, I’m not. I am just trying to do the things that He would do if He were here.” Ministry is doing what Jesus would do and being what Jesus would be if He were in our shoes. Ministry is living out one’s faith.
Thursday was my wife’s birthday. Often we will go out to dinner on our birthdays but she was sick so I knew she wouldn’t feel like going out tonight. Instead, I thought that I would make her dinner, some of her favorite comfort foods: fried potatoes, polish sausage, macaroni and cheese, and kraut. She was pleasantly surprised when she got home to hear what I had planned.
Dinner was coming along nicely, with every thing timed to be ready at the same time. Every thing except the kraut that is; I’d started it too soon and forgot about it. When I gave her the bad news she said “how did you manage to burn the kraut on my birthday?”. I simply replied in complete honesty: I had too much going at once.
I think that we do this in our walk of faith many times, too. It’s very easy to overextend our selves and end up with “too many irons in the fire”. The result? Usually we either end up burning out or doing a less than great job at what ever tasks we are working at. And some times both!
Giving out best, our “first fruits”, in each area of our lives is very important. Colossians 3:23 says “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men”. But some times I think we need to assess if we are being hearty and effective or over burdened and, well, ineffective. By no means am I advocating idleness here, don’t misunderstand me. Take your God given talents and put then mightily to work for His glory and to serve His children. Just make sure that you’re doing what the Lord wants and not what you feel an obligation to do. Service out of love will always trump work out of a feeling if obligation.