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DFW AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

 



DFW AND THE HOLY SPIRIT

The dallas–fort worth International Airport can be fatal. It doesn’t have concourses—it has catacombs. Lobbies empty into labyrinths. People have been known to go into that airport and never come out.

 

Frequent flyers are easily distinguished from the firsttimers. They’re the ones with backpacks, compasses, canteens, and walking sticks. The novices bear the haggard faces, hollow eyes, and distant stares.

One of my first times through the maze was on a trip home from Brazil. I’d been flying all night and was a bit anxious about making my connections. I stopped one family of five and asked where I could get information. The parents looked at me as if they were the only survivors of a nuclear disaster.

 

The mother held up three fingers and gasped, “Three days we have been here, and we still haven’t found our connecting flight.”

I gulped. The dad asked if I could spare five dollars for a pizza for his kids. I gave him the money, and he pointed me toward a map of the airport.

The map was easy to find; it covered an entire wall. When I found the “You are here” sign, I began looking for the gate of my next flight. When I saw where I was as opposed to where I needed to be, I gulped again. The Appalachian Trail would have been easier.

But I had no choice. I took a deep breath, gripped my satchel in one hand and my garment bag in the other, and set my face toward gate 6,690.

 

The floor was littered with travel bags discarded by weary pilgrims. People were falling to my right and to my left. Airport migrants hovered around water fountains as they would an oasis. Travelers fought over luggage carts.

I began to doubt if I would make it. Three hours into my trip, my knees began to ache. Five hours into the journey, my hands grew raw from my bags. At the seven-hour mark, I began to hallucinate, seeing my gate number appear on the horizon only to have it grow wavy and disappear as I came near.

By the tenth hour, I had discarded my garment bag and was carrying only my briefcase. I was about to chuck it when I heard the cheering.

 

It was coming from the corridor up ahead. People were shouting. Some were running.

What was it? What could stir the hope of this trail of despairing pilgrims? What sight could strengthen these exhausted legs? A hotel? An empty restaurant? An available flight?

No, it was something far better. As I turned the corner, I saw it. My face lit like the night sky on the Fourth of July. I took the bandana off my head and wiped my brow. I straightened my back. I hastened my pace. My heart soared. Now, I knew, I would make it.

 

For there, in the distance, covered with lights and plated in gold, was a people-mover.

A people-mover. The Yellow Brick Road of the airport. It’s the bridge across the Jordan. It’s the downhill run for the marathoner, the fourth quarter for the athlete, the paycheck for the laborer, the final draft for the writer.

The people-mover, a path of progressive rest. Once on the people-mover, you don’t have to move, but you still move! And while you are catching your breath, it’s carrying your body.

 

But it’s also a path of multiplied movement. For when you begin walking on it, every step is doubled. The propelling trail makes two steps out of your one. What would have taken an hour takes minutes.

And what a difference the people-mover makes on your attitude. You actually whistle as you walk. The fatigue is forgotten. The galumph is gone. Troops of travelers wave to each other.

And most important, you dare to believe again that you will reach your destination.

Now, maybe I overstated my point about the airport.

But I could never overstate the power of discovering strength for the journey. What I discovered about DFW you’ve discovered about life. No matter how you travel, the trip can get tiring. Wouldn’t it be great to discover a peoplemover for your heart?

 

Paul did. Well, he didn’t call it as such. But then, he never went to DFW. He did say, however, that there is a power that works in you as you work. “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me” (Col. 1:28 niv).

 

Look at Paul’s aim, to present everyone perfect in Christ. Paul dreamed of the day each person would be safe in Christ. What was his method? Counseling and teaching. Paul’s tools? Verbs. Nouns. Sentences. Lessons. The same equipment you and I have. Not much has changed, has it?

Was it easier then than now? Don’t think so. Paul called it work. To this end I labor, he wrote. Labor means work. Work means homes visited, people taught, classes prepared.

How did he do it? What was his source of strength? He worked with all the energy he so powerfully works in me.

As Paul worked, so did God. As Paul labored, so did the Father. And as you work, so does the Father. Every step multiplied. Divine dividends paid. Like the people-mover, God energizes our efforts. And like the people-mover, God moves us forward. And even when we are too tired to walk, he ensures we are moving ahead.

So the next time you need to rest, go ahead. He’ll keep you headed in the right direction. And the next time you make progress—thank him. He’s the one providing the power.

And the next time you want to give up? Don’t. Please don’t. Round the next corner. You may be surprised at what you find.

Besides, you’ve got a flight home you don’t want to miss.

 


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