Still, I am more than blessed. As a retired pastor, I am in no way destitute; and I want for little. All of this is to say that this is why I encourage you not to miss the irony of the following experience…
As I slid behind the wheel of a borrowed BMW Mini-Cooper earlier this week and navigated the streets of one of the wealthiest island communities in all of North America, an astute observer may well have taken note of the following facts:
1. I was wearing a 7 year old pair of flip flops bought at Walmart;
2. I was wearing a 10 year old pair of gym shorts bought at Hibbett’s;
3. I was wearing a 17 year old faded polo shirt bought at Kohl’s;
4. I was wearing a 19 year old pair of sunglasses given to me by a church member who worked at an eye Doctor’s office (and which, parenthetically, had been repaired with Super Glue on no less than three occasions since);
5. I was wearing a 20 year old Georgia Bulldogs Cap gifted to me back in 2003 by a church member (upon UGA’s winning of the SEC after an extremely long drought)!
Perhaps you are beginning to get the picture. From every vantage point around me (or so it appeared), I was more than a little conspicuous. And rightly so… for I was clearly out of place! (After all, who was I to impose my humble self into and upon any such esteemed venue?!)
Yet, I boldly ventured forth! Why? Because I was on a mission! You see, the day before, my prescription eyeglasses had been “lost” at a certain airboat riding venue deep within the Florida Everglades. And I was now determined to retrieve them at all costs! No matter what!
So, what’s my point? Just this…
As Jesus Christ slid into history, He humbly assumed the form of a human being. Thereafter, in an unpretentious manner, He navigated the dusty streets of Galilee and the paved roads of stately Jerusalem. In so doing, at all times, He wore little more than the rags of utter human degradation.
(After all, He came from the tribe of Judah, not the priestly tribe of Levi. He was born in Bethlehem, not the capital city of Jerusalem. And, given those who stood before Him, He was not anywhere near in line for the throne of Israel!)
As a result, He faced ridicule and rejection from those who considered Him out of place in their world. Little wonder that, as He ventured into, then through, and (eventually) out of their world, His mere presence there made them feel uncomfortable, even threatened.
Nonetheless, He boldly pursued His mission to pursue and retrieve that which was lost to Him! Irrespective of the world’s opinion, or its view of Him as a person, He persevered and made His way forward until He had completely achieved His ultimate goal of finding and redeeming those who were lost!
And why did He do this? In short, because He was one hundred percent mission minded! When all was said and done, He did what He came to do irrespective of what the world either saw in Him or thought of Him.
By the way, after leaving Marco Island, Florida one day earlier this week, I did eventually find and retrieve my prescription eyeglasses from some fifty miles inland. (Had I not, given my impaired eyesight, I doubt that I would be able to be typing this even now.)
Of course, my wife and I were there solely due to the generosity of a couple who were not only church members, but good friends. Any and all props [i.e., condos, cars, etc… within my story] were made available to us as a result of the generosity of this couple.
Still, I trust you get the point. I pursued my lost eyeglasses for no other reason than that I was completely mission minded! You see, I valued those eyeglasses enough to borrow whatever means of transportation I could and then run the risk of the ridicule of any and everyone who encountered me along the way in order to seek and to save that which was lost to me!
Likewise, to His glory, Jesus Christ did what He did for no other reason than because He was singularly mission minded! In the culmination of the famed Biblical story of Zacchaeus (found in Luke 19:1-9), He replied: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”
As one of those He came on to find and redeem, I, for one, am extremely thankful. I hope you are as well!