Recently, I asked a group of small group leaders at a city-wide training how far they would walk for:
- seven Oreo cookies and a glass of cold milk
- a new outfit of their choice
- brand new golf clubs
- an all-paid weekend in Orlando, Florida
- a brand new Mercedes convertible
- their dream home.
Some said they would walk up to a mile for the Oreos and milk, a few said they would walk as far as 25 miles for the new golf clubs, and most said they would walk 50 miles for the weekend trip to Orlando (Florida sounds good to us here in North Dakota).
Now, I don't know about you, but if I walked 50 miles I would want a T-shirt that spelled out that accomplishment. A few years ago, my husband ran the Honolulu Marathon and brought me back a T-shirt. I was extremely proud of him for accomplishing his dream of running a marathon, but every time I went to put on the T-shirt he bought me, I hesitated. How could I wear the T-shirt if I didn't run the race? Then I thought about how often I put on the Christian T-shirt but I linger behind the starting line or park myself at a water stop or get too busy to finish the race. Sometimes I even forget why I am running. What am I after? What is my purpose? John wrote a passionate letter to his fellow believers in which he says, "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." 2 John 1:6
So, how far would you walk to show the love of God to one lost soul? Next door? Across the street? To the office next to yours? To the ends of the earth?
Living the Christian life at a distance from the lost is like wearing the T-shirt without running the race. This Christmas season, gather your small group together and take a walk. Break into groups of 3 or 4 and take one or more of the following walks:
- Walk up the driveway to the door of a homebound elderly person. Offer some cookies, hot coffee, and a few minutes to visit. Ask if you can pray for them before you leave.
- Walk through the mall and hand a $100,000 candy bar to several cashiers and store employees. Offer words of thanks for the job they do and remind them that they are valuable to God.
- Walk up to several Salvation Army bell ringers with a cup of hot coffee and some cookies. After visiting for a few minutes offer to pray for them.
- A walk of your own making.
After taking your walk, come back together to share some refreshments, stories about the walk, and prayer for those whose lives you touched. Put on the T-shirt of praise and thanksgiving for an evening well spent.