“A time to gain, a time to lose, A time to rend, a time to sow, A time for love, a time for hate, A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.” God as interpreted by Pete Seeger
Life on planet Earth is finite. Our days are numbered. As a Christian who believes in heaven, I also believe that there will be a reward awaiting my labor.
I walked outside this morning to fetch my wife’s wheelchair out of the car. I saw a couple of pots sitting on the porch and that they had tiny green sprouts shooting out. Encouraged I went into the house and got my watering can. I watered the sprouts on the porch as well as other plants in the front of the house. I plan to keep watering these plants and I may even get some flowers for the front and tomatoes for the back.
I have lived fifty years and like the majority of my fellow human beings, I had my good times and bad times. I laughed and I cried. I succeeded and failed. I consider the most important thing that I have done was to enter a covenant relationship with God. After all ‘what profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?’
But to me, Christianity isn’t as much as eternal life but as living a good right. I don’t claim to be sinless and I don’t claim to be righteous. What I can say for certain is that my life has been greatly blessed by God. In reflection, the best thing that I ever did in my life was my outreach work with the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue in Newark.
Newark, Hillside, and Irvington are the three communities that we evangelized. For eight years we worked very hard. During the days where there was enough sunlight, we went out and knocked on doors. When we couldn’t go outside I led a class on outreach. We must have knocked on thousands of doors. Talked to hundreds of people. Handed out tens of thousands of tracts of material about Jesus Christ and his church. Besides those we reached out to we had around forty people work with us. Some just for one day, others very dedicated.
As far as results I can see I cannot point to any glaring successes. We had several Bible studies, maybe a dozen visitors and perhaps two baptisms. The door knocking, of course, was complemented by other ministries such as our free clothes giveaway and our school supply giveaway. For a small congregation, we did a lot of good work.
But that is the past. With my wife being ill I can do very little outside the house, let alone an evangelistic campaign. I would love to continue my work in the same neighborhoods. The ‘Word of God’ is like a seed planted, it takes time to grow for maturation. I wonder how many minds we touched in a favorable way? I wonder if in the years to come many people that we reached out to will come to God?
In my time of need, I can graciously accept the help of others. I think of the hard work that I did and somehow my pride and ego don’t reject assistance. Rather I welcome it. In a way, I am reaping what I sowed.
In the day Sylvia and I were at the church building whenever the doors were open. Sunday all day. Wednesday for Bible study. Prayer night, game night, visiting other congregations, door knocking, clothes giveaway, school supply giveaway. Now that Sylvia can only walk when I half carry her and is restricted to a wheelchair things have changed. Instead of typing these words I could be in a church service.
There is a time and a season for everything. As I hope to reap some good things from life I also plan to plant. It doesn’t matter if I ever receive a reward or not. I care about the next generation and I wish the best for them. “We don’t inherit this world from our parents but rather borrow it from our children.” In their profound wisdom, the Native Americans are spot on.
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