A Day at the Office
A Day at the Office
If you look at my pictures, you’d think I’m on vacation. I go to parks, historic sites, beaches, amusement parks, and anywhere there are people. Sometimes, I can get confused because I get so caught up in what I’m seeing or hearing. Let’s face it, a towering Chimney Rock or a roller coaster ride can be a distraction. My Aunt Ka Ka is always reminding me, “I know you want to have fun but remember your ministry.” I pray every day for God to keep me focused on my calling and aware of my surroundings. While I certainly think the places I go are one of the benefits of my calling, really, they are just the equivalent of what I called my “Office” in my last job.
Recently, my “Office” was the Boot Hill Museum in Dodge City, Kansas. You might call it a tourist trap but anywhere that traps people is a place I want to be. Besides, I loved the television show, Gun Smoke, and the Boot Hill Museum was about the featured town, Dodge City. God certainly does a good job of delighting me with His call for my life.
I entered the museum and went immediately to the Boot Hill cemetery. There I met a delightful Christian Baptist couple from Georgia. We enjoyed sharing our faith there under the hanging tree. “Surely you’re not traveling alone,” the woman said.
“I’m afraid so,” I laughed. I gave them a “Pocket Full of Quarters” card and moved on.
I moved on down to the Boot Hill Drug Store where I met Boot Hill employees, John and Chip. (See the pictures for all the people mentioned by name in the Photo Gallery called Kansas – Dodge City – Boot Hill Museum.) John is a Catholic Christian who loves traditional Catholic services. “My old church was formal and built in the shape of a cross. That is what churches are supposed to look like. The church I go to now is round and modern. It’s distracting. When I leave, I don’t feel like I’ve been to church.”
“John, it sounds like you are a traditionalist. I suspect the reason there are so many different kinds of churches is that there is a flavor for everyone. I’m curious. Do you pray and read your Bible everyday?”
“I pray all the time. I read my Bible when I was in Catholic school,” he answered. “I learned all that stuff back then.”
“John,” I laughed. “The Bible is a big book. I read it every day and still haven’t learned it all. I use my Bible to learn how to act and what to do today. I wake up every morning and read it because I love it,” I said.
“Really,” he said sounding surprised. “What do you think of Leviticus?”
“Ok,” I admitted. “I don’t read Leviticus often but I have read it several times. The Bible is God’s direct voice. I wouldn’t know how to get by without hearing that clear voice.”
“But it’s so hard to understand,” he argued.
“Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to explain it,” I said. “I promise, He will.”
“There’s too much to read,” he argued again.
“So start with three or four verses a day. Alternate between the New and Old Testament. Read a few verses of Psalms one day and try James the next. On my website, I have something called the six-week wisdom challenge. Start with that.” I handed him a card.
Chip was a Christian but wasn’t involved in church. We talked a while about the benefits of church and I gave him a card.
I walked on through the museum and saw Jim playing what I thought was a banjo and singing Old Susana. Jim explained it wasn’t a banjo but I have no idea what he said the name was. Take a look at the picture and tell me what you think it is. After dropping a dollar bill in his collection plate, I explained to Jim what I was doing. “Are you a Christian?” I asked.
“Sure am,” he said. “God and I are like this.” He held up two fingers crossed. “I talk to Him all the time. I don’t just believe, I know Him.” Jim went on to tell me about his baptism of water and baptism of the spirit. “I’m Assembly of God. If you’re a Baptist,” he said, “I’m probably going beyond you.”
I laughed. “I don’t have the gift of tongues but I visit enough Assembly of God churches to know what you mean Jim.”
I’d already met blond haired baby faced Jeremy working in the print shop. I knew he was 18 years old and about to go to Phoenix, Arizona for technical college. He is a mechanic and wants to get better at his trade. As Jim and I were talking, Jeremy walked up.
“Jeremy, we are sharing our faith in Jesus. Are you a Christian?” I asked.
“I’m pretty confused about that,” he admitted. “I grew up Lutheran but we haven’t really gone to church regularly since I was in 6th grade.”
“May I give you the definition of a Christian?” I asked. He nodded. “A Christian is someone who believes in Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection, has confessed their sins, and asked Jesus to be a part of their life. Have you done that?”
“No,” he said. “I know Jesus lived but I just can’t buy the resurrection thing.”
“God wouldn’t be much of a God if He couldn’t bring someone back to life,” I said. “Do you believe in God?”
“I’m not sure,” was his honest answer.
“What an honest person you are, Jeremy. You’re seeking answers. I’ll bet you’re the reason God called me here today. He wants to give you answers.” I explained about my calling. As I talked, I heard Jim begin to pray. It was so quiet that I couldn’t understand his words so I don’t know if he was praying in tongues or English but I knew Jeremy and I were being prayed for.
“Jeremy, Jim is praying for us. The hairs on my arm are standing up.” I stopped to rub my arms. “I can feel the power of the Holy Spirit. My relationship with Jesus is so real and powerful that I don’t just believe, I know He is real. Jim was just sharing the very same thing with me. If Jesus were real and there was a love waiting for you that was beyond anything you had ever dreamed of and would change your whole life, would you want to know it?”
He nodded. “Of course you would,” I said. “Anyone would.” He nodded again, staring transfixed. “I wonder if you’re as courageous as you are honest. My challenge to you is to ask the God you aren’t sure you believe in to prove Himself to you. Are you willing to do that?”
“I think I am,” Jeremy answered.
“Ask God to prove Himself to you. Then watch and hang on to your hat!” I said looking at his cowboy hat. “It might take a year or a day but I promise you, He’ll answer that prayer. I’m going to ask people to pray for you.” (If you’re reading this, I’d like to ask you to pray for Jeremy right now.)
I saw Jeremy several more time that day. Each time, I reminded him of his promise. “Are you going home tonight to tell people about that crazy woman you met?” I teased.
“Probably,” was his honest and grinning reply. Jeremy was one of the participants in the gunfight later that evening. Somehow, he still looked innocent while shooting a gun loaded with blanks.
I went to the Chuck Wagon dinner and was blessed to be able to join a senior citizen’s tour group. Every single person I talked with was a Christian and active in church. When I left the “Office” that night, I knew my work was done there but the Holy Spirit would continue working even while I slept. I wondered what my “Office” would look like tomorrow.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. KJV