Thursday, October 2, 2014

What are You Missing?

Opportunities to share the love of Christ that slip by us.

My husband and I were in Seoul South Korea recently. Some of our Korean friends had told us to expect the people there to be on their phones constantly, even more than most Americans. We found this hard to believe, but I’m telling you, it’s true. People walked down the street . . . staring at their phones. They rode the subway . . . staring at their phones. They did shop without . . . staring at their phones. They also had earbuds in most of the time. People were everywhere and yet during the day, I was struck by how quiet it was. Perhaps it was because people were . . . staring at their phones, in their own little world.
At the risk of sounding egocentric, I wondered what the people walking past my husband and I, with their heads down, would say if they knew they had missed the opportunity to see us. You see, we are quite the odd birds in Korea, and drew stares and startled expressions from the people who happened to look up from their phones and see us. I have red hair, very white skin and freckles. My husband has startling blue eyes and dishwater blond hair. To say the least we could have sung the Sesame Street song, “One of these things is not like the others.”
My understanding is that red hair is a novelty for people who have rarely, if ever, seen it. But many of them missed it. I imagine it might be similar to you or I hiking in the Rocky Mountains and walking right past a bull moose without seeing it because our eyes were focused on the trail. If only we knew what we missed, we would be disappointed.
How many times do we miss an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with someone, simply because we are . . . staring at our phones, or looking at the path we are trudging through life on? We are missing chances to share the gospel with people who are walking right by us. We are also missing the joy of helping a brother in Christ.
Perhaps it’s not our phones. For me, it’s my schedule. I truly love to help others, but I have a really hard time doing that if it interferes with my schedule. This is harder on short notice. Give me a day to think through my stuff, and I can work it in. But throw something at me and ask me to adjust right now? That is much harder for me. As the mother of four my days are so full of things that I remember to do, and places I remember to be, that adjusting my day on the fly makes me feel out of control and lost. I must remind myself that serving others, even if I miss something else, is what I’m called to.
 Here is another question; Are we too busy serving the body of Christ to see those times that the Holy Spirit is calling us to serve in one time opportunities? 
How about this scenario: I play percussion on our church’s worship team. During second service, I sit out in the foyer and chat with anyone who might be out there. Sometimes someone is really hurting and needs me to share the love of Jesus with them. That’s all fine and dandy, until . . . it’s time for closing song. At which point I dash into the sanctuary to make it up to the hand drums before the pastor is done praying. Worship is important and it’s a good place to serve. I love to worship, especially when I’m playing, but is it okay to miss one closing song because I’m listening to a hurting sister? I need to rethink my priorities.
Let me tell you about one family in Korea that didn’t miss the opportunity before them. On Sunday, we attended an English speaking church. The congregation was made up of people from all over the world. They were so friendly and welcoming that we felt right at home.
After the service, we were asking where we could go to enjoy the Han River for the day. Before we left the church, a wonderful Korean couple offered to drive us to a park. Since we had walked or ridden the subway everywhere we went the prospect of a ride thrilled us. Not only did they give us a ride, but they also took us out for lunch, their treat, and then gave us a tour of the Olympic park.


They changed their whole day for us, and spent most of it showing us the love and generosity of Christ. It warmed our hearts and blessed us in many ways. The fellowship was sweet, despite the few miscommunications. Their English was great and it was so nice to have complete conversations.
One afternoon may not be much of a sacrifice, but it was huge to us. We felt our Fathers love through our brother and sister.
I know I should rely less on my schedule and more on the Holy Spirit to order my days. How about you?


  1. One afternoon is huge. I'm definitely guilty of living in my own world. And wanting my schedule. I'm learning to notice and say to myself, "Nothing you have planned is ore important." It takes practice and intentionality. Blessings on your return!

  2. God is always many steps ahead of us. He provides before we know what our needs are going to be. Like last Saturday, out of the blue, a lady, (Christian) I'd never met offered to help me with whatever I needed after surgery (during our brief conversation, I mentioned an upcoming surgery). She gave me her #! Our God is an awesome God! He had lunch waiting for you. Blessings everyone!

  3. God is Awesome! I'll pray for your surgery and thank God for the provision He's already given you and more to come.