Maybe it was four airports in one day. Maybe it was the fatigue. But maybe, just maybe God was opening my eyes to one of his very important truths. Maybe that is why I was thinking of Cadillacs at 29,000 feet. Yesterday, Shannan and I traveled from Colorado to Long Beach to Las Vegas. While in Long Beach we enjoyed seeing how God is at work through Rick and Katie Schaeffer. Rick is a church planter, a hard working father of four teenage boys. He is a pastor with a passion to see the gospel penetrate his community. Katie has an equally big heart and the same persevering spirit.
Church planting is hard work anywhere, but especially in Long Beach. This is one of the most diverse cities in the United States. Establishing a church among the eclectic of Long Beach has been challenging, but Rick and Katie have prayed and persevered. Now God is giving the increase. I will be sharing a little of their story this weekend at SRC. After leaving the Schaeffer's we drove to Los Angels to see an "adopted son." Jeremiah Cillpam is a young man we love dearly. He is like a brother to our sons and daughter. Today, at 6:00 A.M., Jeremy opens the first Chick-fil-A in LA, a mere stone's throw from the campus of USC. As we arrived yesterday his team was in full preparation mode. We were thrilled to see his FIVE YEARS of sacrificial service being rewarded with a grand opening that will be grand indeed. Like the Schaeffer's, Jeremy exhibits that unique combination of prayer and perseverance.
So where does the Cadillac come in?
As we took the short jump from Long Beach to Vegas I began to reflect on the day. A picture came to mind and so did a passage from the Bible. Here is the picture:
Don't write me off as crazy. I photographed this car a few weeks back while in Arkansas. To me it is the automotive equivalent of Solomon's warning in Proverbs 24:
I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an
armed man. (Proverbs 24:30-34 ESV)
And the point is . . . ?
The point is that life is lived in tension. Rick and Jeremiah will tell you that God is the author of the blessings in their lives. So they pray! And both Rick and Jeremiah will tell you that the Caddy won't run and the paint won't shine if the car just sits in the field. So they work. Prayer and perseverance. Divine sovereignty and human responsibility.
STAY FOCUSED TODAY: Pray and persevere.