Sunday, December 19, 2010
Sometimes you can change the world just by turning off your tv. One Sunday afternoon in Rogers, Arkansas, I was relaxing after preaching and a church luncheon and watching the Dallas Cowboys on tv. It was the end of the fourth quarter and the Cowboys had a first and goal on the five. A touchdown would win the game. Then the phone rang. I answered and heard a man I didn't know ask if he could talk to me. I was about to say no when he said I was the third pastor he had called and none of them would talk to him. I turned off the tv and listened to him. He was having marital problems. His wife had left him and gotten into witchcraft. I invited him to come over. After several counseling sessions at the church, he reconciled with his wife who burned all her witchcraft stuff. They began coming to church. I baptized both of them and she began running Habitat for Humanity in our area. He went on to become an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church and they have been serving for years in New Mexico. Sometimes we let tv and sports dictate our decisions, but there is nothing more important than a child of God in need. I came so close to brushing him off, I still shudder when I remember it. Still, I did turn off the tv. The world is a better place because of it. I'd like to say I would have done that automatically, but it wasn't until he said that three other pastors had turned him down that I did the right thing--maybe for the wrong reason at the time, but I almost lost a soul for a football game. People are more important than sporting events. Period. God bless that man, his wife, and his ministry. He, she, and God made all those important decisions on their own because I just helped things get started, but I listened when I should have. Just listened. Sometimes that's all Christ calls us to do.