What difference can one insignificant event make? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Recently, I spoke on the phone with two old friends and all of us knew each other. We all worked at the same Wal-Mart, a different one than the one I am at now, and came from different and yet similar places in life. One of them was my friend Roger, who was involved in ministry and had a background of severe severe fundamentalism. It’s so much so that I would say it’s practically cultlike, and he would not disagree. He and I have discussed this before.
We all just happened to work together and then I went to seminary and we fell out and lost touch. Then lo and behold, Roger gets in touch with me one day and says he needs my help. He’s on the verge of losing his faith. I was absolutely shocked, but I told him I would work with him and for months, I did. I didn’t give pat answers and I demanded that he do his own work and study. Today, he is an extremely strong Christian and a devoted husband and father. If you want the whole story, you can find it here along with links to the story from his side.
As I thought about the way our friendships worked together, I thought about how my Dad and I are watching the Flash together and how parallel Earths are a reality in that. In those cases, there are various Earths and there could be minor differences from life here or there could be major differences, such as one Earth where the Nazis won World War II. I have sometimes wondered what life would be like on a parallel Earth where Roger and I never worked together.
Would someone else have been there to reach him? If not, would he have fallen away? What would have happened to his marriage? What would have happened to his kids? How could that affect matters years, decades, or centuries down the road?
There’s no way for us to tell, but it does show me that even small events in our lives can have a great impact. I was just a guy looking for a job and a way to pay my bills. Wal-Mart was definitely not a career and because of my interest in gaming, which Roger and I share, I just happened to be placed in electronics and worked alongside him as he worked in the cell phone area.
Right now, I hate working at a Wal-Mart again, but I try to remember that even here, I can be having an influence. Most of the kids I work are young enough that I could be their father, and so I try to be an older and wiser figure for them and advise them on their lives. The majority I think do know that I am a Christian. I am a respected individual, at least with them.
Who knows? Maybe sometime in the future I will encounter one of them and they will tell me something I did or said made a major difference for them. Now that doesn’t mean I stay there as God can use me anywhere, but it means like I said yesterday that this is His story and not mine and He does have a way of working it together.
So it could be for you. Wherever you are in life, God can use you somehow to have some influence on matters. Even the worst things in your life can be used.
There’s a story of how Corrie Ten Boom and her sister were thrown into a prison camp and they had a smuggled Bible with them somehow and were able to do a Bible study with the women. Hundreds came to Christ. Corrie’s sister was someone who wanted to give thanks for everything, even the fleas in their room. Corrie thought she was crazy in all of this. How can you appreciate things like this?
Thankfully though, the guards never entered their room so they were able to continue ministry to the women and have an impact. It was only later they found out why the guards never came in. No. It wasn’t a major miracle or anything like that.
The guards didn’t want to be around the fleas.
Thank God for those fleas.
I’m sure many times, Corrie and her sister were not happy they shared their room with fleas, but those fleas even served a good purpose. If simple fleas can be used like that, what else can be? It’s not easy to do this. I know this as I do work that really bores me to no end, but I do try to remember that I have my own goals I want to reach outside of that place.
Maybe someone will be reached like Roger.
Reached because of whatever fleas I have to deal with.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)