I'm used to making sacrifices; it's part of being an adult, it's part of the Christian walk. But something just get on my nerves.
Volunteering to teach children on Wednesday evenings means that I miss out on the great Wednesday night worship services at Calvary Chapel St Pete. It is a sacrifice for me. But it's not that annoying.
Making Team Hope a priority means missing out on whatever good things may happen on Friday nights. It is a sacrifice, but it's actually not annoying at all.
Attending the class "Perspectives on the World Christian Movement" means that I miss out on Doug Dodge's Sunday evening services in Coquina Key (at the clubhouse) is another annoying sacrifice, but it doesn't last forever, either, and it is supposed to help me obey my calling.
But missing every one of this past weekend's services to do the Super Bowl Outreach was bothering me even as I did it and became even more annoying when I found out that I had to miss Gen Falleur's singing, too.
I had already missed Andy's Wednesday night teaching, but I consoled myself with attending the panel he and two other pastors gave on church-planting. Plus, Andy (and Gen) were speaking at Mission Minded Fellowship last night. But when I heard that Gen had sung during the services over the weekend, I hit the table with both hands in frustration. Andy and Gen live in Ottawa, Canada, so, if I ever want to hear them live, I'm going to have to go there to do it (hmm...that's an idea...Lord?)
You know, I really can't wait to get to Heaven: no more evangelism! Then I won't miss out on all the wonderful things that go on when God's people gather in corporate worship!
True, evangelism is my life's blood, but it does mean that I miss out on a lot of things. And yet, my friend John Natoli once said, "The definition of sacrifice is giving up a good thing for a better one." Now, I had agreed with that when he had said it, but now I know how true it is.
Even Gen said that I had my priorities straight, and that wasn't "polite self-abnegation," either. And I really can't complain that I spent between 15 and 18 hours of my weekend doing evangelism-related activities. It was a lot of fun, and I got to do an open-air interaction with a woman (on microphone, even!) that I was so happy about (I need to ask for the video, it was good!) that I would even rate it as my best time on a soap box (well, it was a milk-crate, but ...details...).
I also got to talk to Tom about his life. He threw away the Gospel tract that I had given him (I don't think he knew that I was looking right at him) after reading most of it, and then he handed another tract back to one of my friends. He kept standing there, though, so I walked up and started talking to him. When I asked if he had a Christian background, he said that he was raised Catholic (don't anybody start with me over what he says about the Catholic church, either!) and that his wife was forced to be Lutheran (we didn't cover that so much, because his wife wasn't there), so they had decided to expose their son to everything and let him decide (recipe for disaster, but I couldn't warn him about that if he wasn't convinced that the Bible is truth, anyway).
Actually, Tom was the only one to talk about the Catholic church, because I didn't try to defend or destroy it (the church isn't the Gospel). Instead, I focused on him and God. He said that there were so many different religions that his philosophy was, "Pick on you like, and enjoy." I asked him about the people who had put their faith in the Titanic: where did it get them? Was it possible that simply "having faith" was not enough? What if that faith was in the wrong god? It made him think.
When I asked him what his favorite sin was, he couldn't tell me. So I gave him one of the ones that held me tight, pornography. Just as I was about to say it, the Lord seemed to tell me that it was his. And, as soon as I said it, he admitted to it, too. Now that was just plain scary! (It has happened like that before, but it still unnerves me everytime!)
I told him about repentance and how painful Jesus said it might be to get rid of sin but how it is so worth it (Matthew 5:29-20; Mark 9:43-48). I don't know if he will repent or not. I don't know if Keisha will repent or not (the lady on the mic). I do know that I was definitely where I was supposed to be, but I can't be in two places at once. Oh, come quickly, Lord Jesus!