This came to a head yesterday as I went to a shower for a neighbor. I felt certain this would be a great chance for God to use me as I interacted with people from all walks of life, most of whom have no relationship with Him. And though I kept asking Him for guidance, no doors seemed to open and as I left I felt like all I'd done was socialize with small talk. So much for being intentional...
But as I went to bed exhausted from a very busy weekend, I remembered a story I heard a long time ago by an old preacher from the South named Ron Dunn. We first heard this beloved man when we were in college, and though he has gone on to be with the Lord, his legacy lives on in my heart and many others. So this morning I did an internet search and found a website with sermons, articles and other stuff. I was amazed to find the story, and knew I needed to share it with you. Dunn wrote:
Until a few years ago I worried a great deal about whether or not I as a pastor was doing enough for the Lord. If I had one of those days of just answering letters and administrating, I would lie in bed at night saying, “Lord, I haven’t even witnessed to a single person today; I was so busy doing these little things.” There was always too much work to do, and I lived in a constant rush, giving hardly any time to my family.I hope that encourages you -- it has me. Though I am still going to press into being intentional with the Lord, I realize that the best way to do that is to simply be available. The rest, I'm relieved to say, is up to Him.
But one day as I walked into the kitchen, I noticed that the water faucet was looking a bit discouraged. When I asked what the problem was, the water faucet said, “Well, I am really down because I know I have failed you today, master. I haven’t washed your hands once, I haven’t quenched your thirst once, I tried to turn myself on, but only squeezed out a few drops. I know that you are displeased with me.”
“Water faucet,” I said, “I have passed by you a hundred times today. If I had wanted you to quench my thirst or wash my hands, I would have turned you on. I don’t want you turning yourself on − you’ll just waste water and make a mess. You have been a pleasure to me today because you have been available. I don’t measure your faithfulness by how much water you pour out in a day. I measure your faithfulness by your availability.”
You know what? I can come to the end of a day now and say, “Lord, I didn’t do such and such today, but I was available, and if You had wanted to use me in that way, You could have.” It is such a peace, such a relief. I’ve come to that great discovery that no matter how hard I work, I will always be behind, so why worry? God is not my responsibility. I am His responsibility.