Allow me to introduce you to George. He is the driver of our mini-van. Mario Andretti has nothing on him! He could be Jimmy Johnson’s Kenyan twin brother. Please don’t misunderstand. George is incredibly competent. And he takes our safety very seriously. But let’s just say there were a few times when I felt very close to Jesus this afternoon. We drove up the lower road from Nairobi to Naivasha. It’s a two lane “highway” that runs along the lip of the Rift Valley. It’s rutted and dusty. And it is absolutely jammed with slow moving semi-trucks. This is where George shines. He weaves that minivan seamlessly in and out of those big trucks – most of the time. There was one moment when Pastor Craig leaned over from the front passenger seat and told George he had his crucifix with him!
This afternoon’s drive made me think of just how crowded and hectic I tend to make my life. I have a bad habit of filling the day and night up with lots and lots of tasks and appointments. And it quickly becomes a traffic snarl that leaves me to weaving and dashing along. Full confession: I have even been known to transfer that frustrated weaving and dashing to my driving in Orlando traffic! That’s one thing a mission trip does for you. It forces you to slow down long enough to see what is going on. Stepping of your regular routine and being living for a time in another setting has a way of giving perspective on what is urgent and what is not.
On his first missionary journey, Paul had all kinds of challenges and pressures. Things got so hectic at one point that he was expelled from the city of Pisidian Antioch. And yet, it says in verse 52 of chapter 13 that the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. This is the same guy who claims to have dotted every “I” and crossed every “T” in following the Law of Moses! The same guy who got so riled up at Christians he literally went around the country hunting them down! Now he is persecuted, stoned nearly to death and expelled. And yet he is filled with the presence and joy of the Holy Spirit.
How much better would I be at handling the rush hour of tasks if I was filled with the presence and joy of the Holy Spirit? How much better would my appointments be if I was centered on the presence and joy of the Holy Spirit? The key question for me seems to be this. How can I make myself available to the Holy Spirit? How do I take my focus off the road and the rush long enough to connect with the very One who sustains me through it? What about you? What are you doing to open yourself to the presence and joy of the Holy Spirit today?
It’s time for me to try and be a little less Mario Andretti and a little more Paul. How about you? How about you?