God forgive me for being apathetically lazy.
I read biographies of Harmon Schmelzenbach and J. J. D. Hall this week. Schmelzenbach, noted for founding the Nazarene church in Swaziland, served with boundless energy and passion for souls. In spite of self-sacrifice, malnutrition, frequent fevers and illnesses, overwhelming exhaustion and opposition of every hand, his evangelistic fervor never wavered. Rev. “Daddy” Hall was a Spirit-filled Episcopalian minister who was successful in a wide assortment of evangelistic endeavors and ministries, from prison work and rescue missions to street preaching and possibly the earliest telephone ministry in America.
Of course, a good Christian biography is more than a historical account of some interesting person serving an interesting time. The best Christian biographies convict us of our shallow living and fill our hearts with greater love and our minds with fresh visions of the possibilities of grace.
These biographies were no exception. It is no secret that most pastors and missionaries feel that they are already stretched thin, but compared with the fortitude of Schmelzenbach, our best efforts look puny and half-hearted. Certainly, we also have an abiding sense of the call of God to rescue the perishing, but if we could see our lives through Daddy Hall’s eyes, I have no doubt there would be countless missed opportunities and unexplored possibilities.
So I pray: Lord, forgive me for my apathetic laziness. Rekindle my passion for souls. Strengthen me for the battle. Help me, by your Spirit, to be quick to see and use the opportunities to witness for you. Amen.