Today I’d like to pay tribute to John. He led a group of dorm chaplains in Oklahoma years ago, and I was one of the many who grew under his teaching. Here are two lessons that have stayed with me after all this time.
Few things are necessary, really only one.
This truth belongs front and center in the mind and heart of every believer. What do I consider necessary? What do you consider necessary? My friend Susan lives in an African village. She eats beans and rice every day, bathes in a bucket, and counts herself blessed to live the life to which God has called her.
I’m willing to bet Susan’s list of necessities is shorter than mine, and I am humbled by that thought. But John said there was really only one thing necessary. Or rather One. Christ. Christ is enough, because if anything else is needed, he is able to provide it. As we go about our lives, seeking to meet our own needs or those of our loved ones, may we remember that our greatest need is Christ!
That’s the spiritual lesson John taught me. He also gave me a very practical tip.
When you walk, don’t rush, just take big steps.
John knew that life is busy. Sometimes we start believing that the busier we are, the more valuable our lives have become. We might even buy the lie that completing the agenda we’ve set for ourselves each day is The Great Goal. As we lead the full lives God has given us, though, we need to stay available, and to appear available. While John meant, quite literally, that walking across campus with a wide, slow gait was the best way to go, his advice carries over to life in general.
Take big steps. That is, look for efficient ways to complete your tasks.
Don’t rush. Look un-busy so that you become approachable. Then you won’t miss the “interruption” that just may be the most important thing God wants you to do with your time today.
Those are two of my favorite “lessons from the past.” What are yours? I hope that you will share them in the comments section below.