I just received this email from one of my great friends Lance and was so encouraged by it. Especially because Jen and I just had our first child, Grady, on Tuesday. He is beautiful and amazing... A true example of the beauty and awe inspiring nature of our God... Grady, that is... Sorry Lance.
I would like to be open and transparent so to share something beautiful with you. Whether through self pity, circumstance or lack of discipline, I have been going through times of discouragement lately. Tonight was one of those times. It has been a long day, in fact a 18 hour day: off to work in the morning, scarfed down a sandwich at my desk during a conference call at lunch, ended up staying a little late at work and had to rush to my class that starts at 6:00 pm and is supposed to finish at 10:00 pm – to make matters worse, class went over by 30 minutes. Instead of going home, I called Stephanie and let her know that I needed to take a walk to blow of some steam. I walked around campus for about 30 minutes and on my way back to my car, I recognized a gentleman from my class standing outside of the Library entrance, at the base of some stairs under a side walk lamp (kind of reminded me of the scene in “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” where they go through the closet and meet the fawn under the street lamp in the middle of no-where). His name is “Chief” and he is blind. I was surprised because the professor advised him to leave 30 minutes prior to dismissing the rest of us. As he left, she said she knew he had to catch a ride. I approached him, introduced myself and called out I wanted to shake his hand. He shifted his guiding stick and extended his hand. I asked him if he had missed his ride and needed one to go home. He said that he was waiting on DART (public transportation) to come pick him up. I decided to wait with him to make sure he got home. We started visiting. I was fascinated by the life and routines he described. I discovered that Chief works full time and takes classes at night. I asked him what time he was going to get up for work in the morning (knowing he had more obstacles to overcome to prepare for the day than I). He said 5:00 am, sometimes 4:30 am. Through course of conversation he shared that he was from Sudan, entertaining me with stories of his country, Chad and Egypt. I had recently heard that dust from the Sahara was traversing the Atlantic and reaching as far as Dallas. He confirmed and said that clouds of dust would cover the sky at times with a darkness you could feel. Then out of no where he exerts that his ride was there. I thought, “What do you think I am, blind?” I didn’t see any bus, and then over a quarter of a mile away, through Live Oaks and three parking lots I saw a yellow bus making its way through the campus – then I heard it. I looked over at Chief and he was smiling – I knew he was showing off. It took a couple of minutes for the bus to get over to us. We finished up our conversation and parted ways. It was now 11:15 and he had been waiting 1 hour and 15 minutes.
I share this with you because I was blessed with this encounter. Not because of any emotional gratitude of abilities from encountering someone who is less physically capable than I. I am the one with the disability. I disabled myself. I thought I was at my max – I thought I could do no more. I have been tired and discouraged.
There are so many wonderful analogies to be drawn from this encounter, but from it, I wanted to encourage you to dig deep and find the extra sense that God has given you to shine in your circumstances and adversity so that others can be blessed and encouraged by your life. Christ did not die and give us spiritual site so that we could reach our max and limitations. There are no limitations in Christ and he has equipped us for every good work. Run the race with endurance, work hard and be faithful. Be patient – even if God’s work in your life takes more than 1 hour and 15 minutes.