One of my most favorite things in the whole world is book discussions. Since we’re so far away from each other – let’s do it by blog, okay? Once a week or so, I’ll post something I’ve been reading and you can share your thoughts, okay?
I’m currently reading The Call to Joy and Pain by Ajith Fernando. In it he tells a story about a godly worker who went and served in an unreached people group until his death. In all those years of work, he did not see anyone come to faith in Christ. After he died, another worker went to the same group – probably expecting years of fruitless service. Instead, imagine his surprise when many people from the group began to follow Christ. He asked them why they responded now, but not when the older man of God was with them. Ajith writes…
They responded that this old [worker] had told them that if they became followers of Christ they would not fear death. This impressed them, but they needed to see whether it was really true. So they waited until he died, and seeing the way he died made them all want to become Christians.
I’m so challenged by this story because we all want to be the second worker, right? We all want to be the one “reaping the harvest” – the one with big numbers to our credit. We want to be the one God uses to do things that other people will find noteworthy. But if that second worker was honest with himself, he would know that none of the glory could go to himself… first of all, it had to go to God. And in the human element? That first worker – the one who died without a single digit of “accomplishment” to his name – he is the one who deserves the most human credit for the spreading of the gospel among those people.
So… my question is… would you rather be the first worker… or the second one?