This past week I received a letter from one of the young men I worked with in Kansas City, Ks. when serving as program director for one of our American Baptist Home Missions. Boy did that bring back a flood of memories. In that position one of my responsibilities was picking children up after school for our outreach (a miniature vacation Bible school that took place every day of the week for kindergartners through High school). They would come for crafts, recreation and a short devotion.
One Friday afternoon I was sitting in front of an elementary school waiting for the kids. I saw a young man that had been in trouble with the police most of his adolescence, in the rearview, as he walked up to the passenger side. He opened the door and jumped in. I wasn’t too concerned since he’d been coming to the center for basketball and we seemed to have reached some common ground in our relationship.
Yet…today he looked anxious, he seemed jittery when sitting next to me in the van. I started to ask how life was going when he interrupted and said, “Well, Reverend I’ve been popping cans all afternoon so I might as well pop you.”
As he said those words he pulled a handgun from his coat pocket held it up to my temple and pulled the trigger. No discussion, no chance to be a hero and wrestle the gun away. Nope, all I heard was the hammer fall and then…nothing.
This young man grunted, “Well, I guess there really is a God because I seem to be out of shells”. With that he jumped out of the van and took off.
See if you can relate to any of these feelings expressed by Elijah from 1 Kings 18 & 19, I sure can. “I want to run. I’ve had enough. I’m all alone.” Yet, as you read chapter 19 you notice God came to Elijah BECAUSE HE WAS WHERE God wanted him to be. Are you on the path where God wants you?
Lord…I want to serve You for the rest of my life. I pray that You give me wisdom, the desire, and the courage to share the Good News about our Savior. May I always remember even when I am scared, wanting to run, feeling rejected that I’m never alone. Amen.
Sometimes its a difficult walk but stay on the path God and others are with you.