Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Ticking Clock

The class ended with goodbyes and promises of internet phone conference calls. My cohort even set up a time for a conference call next week. I was ready to get on the plane and get back home to Donna and Nathan and Lizzie. My shuttle to Los Angeles Airport was due to arrive at 11 a.m. with my flight at 2 p.m. 11:00 p.m. came. 11:15 p.m. came. I called the shuttle came and left from the wrong address. 11:30. Would I make the filght? 11:45. . .

I had nothing to do with my time to think at the corner of Walnut and Madison. I waved as new friends in ministry passed by and left for their home. I thought about the experience of two full weeks sitting in class, reading books and taking in new information. My life is filled with much planning, a good bit of study, lots of interaction with people. But when it all comes down to it, at the end of the day we are given a few opportunities to be God to others. Regardless of our planning and structuring, we must be aware that the Spirit is nudging and opening opportunities if we will move.

I stood in the beautiful LA sun until noon Eastern Standard time before my back-up shuttle arrived. The driver was a Russian American, who explained to me that he had been sent to get me. The fare he would receive was reduced. He had other customers to pick up in downtown. Then, the shuttle company called to cancel his customers. So, he was receiving a reduced fare and caring only one customer. He was not complaining to me, but describing the system that was stacked against him. I am sure that it was in part to mine my pockets for a tip, but I bought it. I have been blessed tremendously.

My blessings are too numerous to count. Just the fact that I had money in my pocket, soon would have a late lunch in my belly, a home to return to and loads of education. These all put me in the top 5% of the world's wealthiest people.

Sure, he was in the top 5%, too. He told me about his plans to retire, buying his grandkids a toy each and every Saturday (which made me question my plan to give him another tip). Actually, anyone who owns a car is there at the top. However, today he was serving me. So, the last money I had in my wallet was saved for this servant. I can empty my wallet any time and know that God will give me food, all the basics and more. I am blessed. I gave him the money and said "God bless you and fill your shuttle full of high tippers." His smiled filled his face and we waved good-bye.


moses said...

hey brady!

good to read your post. i felt like being with you again while reading your post. you are a gifted writer! keep up the good work.

thanks for your hospitality and friendship during those two weeks at fuller. can't wait to get together with so many bunch of good people next year!

so much happened after i got back. i'll keep in touch with you....

from los angeles,

J. Kevin Parker said...

I like to tip people that do a good job, especially when I'm in a jam (that is when I can afford a tip!). But you are right: we have to remind ourselves that the vast majority in America are wealthy in Biblical terms and compared to the rest of the world.

Brady Bryce said...

Moses -
It was a delight to be together with you. The time I spent with you learning, eating and talking was very special.

We also enjoyed warm service, great food and deep conversation at Continental (well worth a tip).

Thanks for your encouragement. God be with you in your work in the kingdom. Talk with you soon.