The last thing on my mind was being obedient. After a long day in the office and a stop at the doctor’s office with a sick kid, it was one of those days where talking with everyone I knew in Walmart was low on my priority list. All I wanted was a few groceries. Lunches needed to be packed for the morning and frozen pizza could only be served for dinner so many nights a week. I must have had the same idea as everyone else because I was seeing everyone I knew.
I waved hello to a girl from high school, nodded at the sister of a friend, helped a stranger find what she was looking for, and said hello to a guy who used to go to our church that I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. As I finished up shopping the guilt started to set in because I felt like I should have remembered his name. I should have had something to say that would have reminded him he was welcome in our church. But instead, I was busy. I even got in line behind him in the check out incidentally. Then out of nowhere, he said: “Have a good night, Pastor Nick…” I just replied “you too” still not remembering his name.
And then the check out girl spoke up. “Where’s your church?” I proceeded to share about The Village. Long story short, I think she’s attending our church for the first time on Thursday night this week. It was a great conversation. She works every weekend so a Thursday night service seemed to be her best fit. She’s moved many times and felt judged as a visitor at many churches, but she felt pretty comfortable talking to me. She even seemed excited!
I wonder, if I slowed life down enough and really took a look around for opportunities, how many people in that Walmart just needed an invite? How many just needed to know the truth about Jesus and how He was for them and not against them? How many could we reach if I was just obedient to the opportunities God put in front of me? Maybe it’s time to slow down and pay attention.
Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I am here in chains. – Colossians 4:3