6 09 2011

He’s a hard worker, a taxi driver. He’s tough, moved to Lima alone at age 12. At 56 he began learning a new language, English. His heart is full of compassion. He loves his Lord Jesus and takes pleasure in serving Him. He doesn’t think much of himself, or rather, doesn’t think often of himself. He doesn’t have the time. He’s always thinking about about others. “How can I serve them? comfort them? encourage them?”

I met Raul this summer and he deeply impacted my life. We served together for a week in Yungay, Peru. I got the chance to get to know him more on an 8-hour bus ride through the mountains and along the coast in Peru. He has a great joy and exuberance for life. We laughed a lot. I asked him, “Raul, if you had 2 or 3 days to do anything you wanted or go anywhere you wanted, what would you do?”

“You mean 3 days with no responsibilities? No work?” He seemed genuinely perplexed…like this was a totally hypothetical question.

“That’s right, 3 days to do anything you want to do.”

“I think I would go somewhere alone and read my Bible.”

I sat there in silence for a moment contemplating what he’d just said. At first, I thought he was being “super-spiritual.” But after seeing his countenance, I knew he was serious. I don’t really know what I thought he would say. Visit Fiji? Take a sunset catamaran cruise? Spend an evening in Paris with his wife?

” And what about you?”

I know that I had already prepared an answer for myself and it wasn’t anything like his. I would travel. I’ve always wanted to visit Iceland, Ireland, Scotland.  But I’d probably want to stretch it out for a couple of weeks. The cool, brisk weather. The natural hot springs. The beautiful highlands. But I couldn’t share that with him. So, after fidgeting for a moment, I came up with another answer.

“I’d want to travel to the Holy Land. Walk where Jesus walked. Maybe even participate in a touring  Bible study.”

We talked for a little longer about how great that would be. And the truth is, if given a choice between visiting the islands of the North Atlantic or taking a tour of the Holy Land, I really would choose the latter. It’s not like I lied to Raul, but I wasn’t as ready to answer as he was. His quick response makes me think that, for him, there’s nothing like simply being in the presence of God.

I want to be like that. I love working for the Kingdom. I understand the importance of serving my fellow man and serving the King. But I want to learn to enjoy simply being in the presence of my Creator.

God, help me to listen more and talk less. You know my heart, I want to know Yours. Amen.




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