My Monday through Friday job involves working with at-risk teens. These young men and women have lived soap opera lives. No two of them have experienced the exact same problems, but the hurdles between them and a high school diploma are most often labeled drugs, alcohol, broken homes, neglect, and abuse.
One of the ways we try to help these students overcome their problems is by matching them with a mentor — a man or woman with outstanding moral character from the community who is willing to form a relationship with the student.
One day a month for no more than two hours, a mentor is asked to take their student out to lunch, to their work place, or other appropriate places. Doesn't sound like much, does it? But just a few hours of our time can make a big difference in the life of a child.
After I ask someone to be a mentor and if they agree, then we do a background check and match them with a student. One young man in my class, I will call him Tom, (That isn't his real name.) needed a special mentor. Tom needed someone who would give him the extra attention he so desperately needed. Because Tom came to class every day with a Bible in his hand, I decided a minister might be a good match for him. So I emailed several local ministers inviting them to be a mentor and waited for their replies. None came.
I decided something must be wrong with my computer, so that night I called one of the ministers I had emailed. I told him who I was; and before I could continue he interrupted and asked, "What do you want from me?"
I told him about the mentoring program and he said, "Oh yes, I remember getting an email from you. Thanks for asking me, but I'm really busy at church and I also teach classes. In addition to that I have some other pressing responsibilities. If I say 'Yes!' to you, then I'll have stop doing something else in order to make time for this. Sorry, but I can't."
I thanked him, hung up the phone and sat there. I didn't have the heart to call the other ministers on my list. I realized that my disappointment was causing to judge him and I could almost hear Jesus saying, "If you are without sin, cast the first stone." (John 8:7)
Just like the men in the Bible story, I couldn't cast a stone because I am guilty, too. Instead of condemning someone who had let me down, I needed to take a good look at my life and ask myself, "What am I too busy to do?"
It didn't take long before I thought of a few things. The elderly man who sits behind me at church was placed in the nursing home two weeks ago and I still haven't been by to see him. Our church bulletin lists the sick every week, but how many of them had I been to see or even sent a card? My list could go on and on.
Sometimes I suspect we get caught up in the rat race of life, chasing the cheese, doing our best to outrun the other rats and forgetting that when we get there all we get is a hunk of cheese! When we begin our day we need to ask ourselves, "Lord, what would you have me do today?" instead of saying "Lord I have so much to do today please help me find a way to do it all."
Jesus was a busy person, but He was busy doing His Father's will. He lived to serve others. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could do the same?
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9 KJV)
Dear Lord, please don't let me become weary in well doing. Remind me of your sacrifice and how you weren't too busy to do your Father's will, even though it meant dying on the cruel cross of Calvary. Please never let me again be too busy for you, or to do your will here on earth. In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen