Outside, the rain falls – a gray overcast day, perfect weather for sitting inside the coffee shop. Around us, brick walls bring the outdoors inside, giving a sense of rustic behavior among the amenities of one’s home. Here, among the public, one can catch the occasional glimpse of a writer, an artist, or just someone surfing the internet researching their next vacation. One can find motivation from those around you; it’s where the community comes into play. Yet, with regard to worship, being with others in the community isn’t only for the inspiration of seeing someone else seeking God; it’s the fact that together, we are united in our quest to call out to Abba, the Father, inviting the Holy Spirit to join. As Jesus told us, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
As my journey here in southern Indiana continues, I’m finding a perspective that’s probably more common than what I usually encounter. More and more I find those who are living life without any direction regarding their spiritual well-being. Unlike a college campus, their direction isn’t temporary; it’s long-term. Most people, but not all, go through the motions, living life day-to-day. For some, this struggle is real. Chronic ailments increase with age. There are doctor visits, medical concerns, and a host of other self-care requirements necessary just to make it through the day. The battle is real. Often, they feel that their prayers are the key to their spiritual health, disregarding studying and applying God’s word. They’ve read enough to believe in some greater power yet, seldom apply those concepts to more than just their own well-being. Trapped in their sole existence, they find little time or opportunity to share Christ with more than just a handful of people. They might as well be on a deserted island. Their world slowly closes in around them until the last. There, they come to that final rerun of their life’s journey, which left little trace showing the path to salvation. It is as if they never existed.
Then there are some, healthy, robust, living their life as if there would be an eternity to deal with those things of the spirit – putting off today what one can do tomorrow. Procrastination, Satan’s desire for each of us, lures one into a false sense of security. He [Satan] tries to keep our eye off those things of eternity, living for tomorrow instead of today. For if one were to live for the present, they would find eternity through Christ, which, if you think about it, is quite the irony.
Those baby steps of being pulled away from our focus on God become layers of distractions that build one upon another until one becomes buried beneath their burdens. C.S. Lewis wrote in the Screwtape Letters, “Finally, from the corner of the room, a small whisper came. It was one of the younger demons. Hesitantly, he suggested, “You’ve missed our most effective strategy… Just tell them they have all the time in the world to decide. Tell them it’s not that important. Tell them to wait another day…” Before you know it, you’re in the hospital facing mortality with little to nothing to show for all those years of working toward that worthless goal. You are overwhelmed with the reality that you spent your life chasing after silly treasures that do nothing more than collect dust on the shelf in your earthly home, the one you will soon be leaving. Meanwhile, your future home, if you have even chosen to go to that next place, is barren, the rooms empty – a hollow chamber of empty souls.
Although life can be busy, we must make a concerted effort to reach out to those around us, not just when we are on vacation. Daily, there is a battle going on in the world around us. It’s that person sitting next to you at the stop light. It’s that person at the other table in the coffee shop. It’s that stranger that opened the door for you at the library. They surround you every day of your life. The challenge is to find a way inside their world, to gain a foothold, to share something more than what the world has to feed them. This is where we must work the hardest –finding opportunities to share, for it is here in the chance encounter of life that we build the guest list for the Kingdom of God. The names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life become our neighbors in life eternal. “To him that overcometh, I will give a white stone, and in the stone, a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”
May you find someone today to share the Good News of Jesus, and in so doing, find the white stone with your new name in life eternal.
Thanks be to God.
 Matthew 18:20 KJV