“I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 1 John 4:35b NIV
Perplexed, I stood in the book aisle wondering what would be the perfect retirement gift for the head of our public relations department. He was a crusty, old journalist with a newspaper background. But he had the heart of a teddy bear. I was a relatively new Christian and I wanted to leave this man with words that would change his life.
I scoured the shelves and tables of the Christian bookstore for hours. All the while I prayed that the Lord would lead to just the right gift. When you’re a perfectionist, it’s sometimes hard to hear the Lord. Eventually, I wound up in front of the same book I had looked at several times. The author, I’m ashamed to admit, was unfamiliar to me. The writer was a man, so that was a plus for the book. The title was intriguing, “A Twentieth Century Man,” and as I scanned the pages, it appeared to have details that would grab my boss’ interest.
“Is this it, Lord,” I asked, hoping to hear a definitive direction. There was an nudging to purchase this book but I can’t say that I ever felt confident about my inclination until later.
Back at the office, we had a small luncheon for our retiring director, and days after he opened his presents at home, he came to my office. That was a rarity. He stood tall as he leaned against the fiberglass- filled divider and with delight in his eyes he thanked me wholeheartedly for the book I gave him.
“Malcolm Muggeridge is my favorite writer,” my boss responded with as much enthusiasm as was possible for this old journalist. He avidly followed Muggeridge, a journalist like himself!
“He wrote the book about Mother Teresa,” my boss filled me in. Something Beautiful for God.
When that moment passed, I was stunned and elated. Stunned that I really had heard the Lord in that bookstore aisle. Stunned because I had no idea how much this book would mean to my boss. Stunned that the director of Public Relations came to my office. And elated that from all impressions, this book was about to change a crusty old journalist’s life.
I had not thought about this incident of how the Lord directed me until this past week while reading a devotional that mentioned the Bristish journalist Malcolm Muggeridge and his interview with Mother Teresa. The message was about losing our life only to gain it in Christ. Muggeridge is quoted as saying:
“There is much talk today about discovering an identity, as though it were something to be looked for, like a winning number in a lottery; then, once found, to be hoarded and treasured. Actually,…the more it is spent the richer it becomes. So, with Mother Teresa, in effacing herself, she becomes herself. I never met anyone more memorable.”
It was after his interview with Mother Teresa, that Muggeridge converted to Christianity from a wildly secular and liberal-leaning life. This book included his conversion and new outlook on life and faith.
Muggeridge’s books can be found through Google and his quotes can be found at Good Reads. One that applies to our nation today can be found here. However, I have not found that gift book I gave my director, whom I’m sure is in good company with his favorite author, Mother Teresa, and the Lord.
So, remember to ask the Lord’s direction for even what seems like the small things in life. And if you feel a nudge, go with it. You never know how the Lord may want to use you.
“Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” John 4:37, 38 NIV
Thank you all for your prayers for my eye surgery. The surgery went very well! However, I am having that black, crescent-shaped line in the right eye now as well. The good thing is that I have noticed the one in the left eye fading somewhat. So there is HOPE!!!
From My Heart to Yours,