Appalachian preacher Seymour Wattenbarger, who has a knack for painting vivid pictures with words, gave me a good chuckle the other day with his descriptions of lazy people.
“If breathing didn’t come natural, they’d smother to death,” Seymour said, talking about church members who sit at home, never taking the time or initiative to go out and share the gospel.
“I’ll never forget the time,” Seymour said, “that I saw this one fellow sitting under a shade tree, his hair blowing in the breeze, and him too lazy to run and get it.”
Jesus told us in scripture, using terminology that most everyone in America’s breadbasket is familiar with, that more people are needed in sharing the gospel: “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few” (Luke 10:2).
I read a story the other day about a fellow named Nevest Coleman, a grounds crew worker for the Chicago White Sox who was arrested and sent to prison in 1994 for crimes he didn’t commit. He spent 24 years behind bars before DNA evidence proved he was innocent.
After a judge ordered him released, Nevest eagerly went back to work on the grounds crew earlier this year.
“They didn’t have to hire me back,” Coleman said. “I appreciate the White Sox giving me the opportunity to come back to work.”
Perhaps something has taken you away from doing the work that Jesus has called you to do. Perhaps it’s been far too long since you told someone about the salvation available through Jesus. You know He would be thrilled to have you back on the job. He will put you right back to work.
I’m convinced that it’s not laziness that sidelines most Christians. Instead, it seems to me that people don’t share their faith simply because they don’t take seriously the scripture that says: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved. But he who believes not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16).
We need to grasp the seriousness of those words commissioning us to share the good news of Jesus Christ. If we don’t go and tell, people can’t know the good news. And if they don’t know the good news, they can’t believe it. And if they don’t believe the good news, they will be eternally lost.
So, you see, it’s serious business. Never let it be said of us that we’re too lazy to chase a wayward wig … or a wayward soul.
Roger Alford offers words of encouragement to residents of America’s heartland. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.