I may have met a couple of famous people, sitting on a park bench in Provins, France last week.
You know those two old guys on the Muppet Show? The ones who sit in the balcony and make smart-aleck comments to each other about whatever the others are doing?
Them. Or maybe it wasn’t them but these fellows sure made me think of them (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14njUwJUg1I Only watch this after you finish the Coffee Stain!)
We were in the midst of an outreach talking to people about the Lord. I approached these two old fellows, both pushing 80 I think, sitting on a bench during one of our rare sunny afternoons.
One of them turned a bit nasty when I mentioned God. I remained polite but I wanted to know what had happened to him to make him so bitter against God.
He just made the face of a fellow sucking on a lemon and ordered me to leave before he ordered me to leave.
I know he meant to offend me. Some people are scary when they’re like that, but he struck me as funny because he reminded me of the Muppet Show geezers.
Later though, I thought, it’s not really funny. A man two steps from eternity harboring hate like that towards God. Grumpy old men. I still wonder what made him like that.
It’s easy to criticize and say, “We can’t always control what happens to us but we’ve got to control our reaction to what happens.” That’s true, but it’s not always easy. Lots of nasty people turned nasty because nasty things happen to them.
And some seem to be born that way.
And me? Well, I’d like to tell you how wonderful I always am but the truth is sometimes I’m a grumpy old man. I let situations or people take my joy and make me bitter, disillusioned or angry.
What’s the solution? Pray? Yeah, but …
I’ll be honest with you, I’ve seen quite a few people who pray, but still live with stinky attitudes. We’ve got to let prayer change us (or God’s Spirit through prayer).
Real prayer will get you involved with things that change you from the grumpy old man that you are into the joyful man that God destined you to be. (Grumpy old ladies, do they exist, too?)
How? We pray, we read the Word, we hang with people who love the Lord, but can I suggest something else?
Do something so that you can see God’s glory.
During this same outreach, I talked to a young lady whose attitude was 180 degrees from that of the old grouch. She wanted to know God but it seemed like there was something blocking her from entering into his presence.
What a joy to tell her how much the Lord Jesus loved her! My heart filled up as I felt the love that the Lord had for her and how much He wanted to demolish that barrier, how much He wanted to enter her life and change her.
We want to experience revival. One of the best ways to be re-energized is to find someone and help them in the Name of the Lord. You want to feel God’s love? Tell someone about Jesus and His love will flow through you. Help someone in need in His Name and you’ll feel the same love that He feels for that person.
And that love will renew you.
“Ah, but David, the idea of speaking to someone about the Lord scares me to death!”
I think most everyone is scared to start but then it’s fun to talk with people. And when you sense that the person actually has an open heart for the Lord, His love flows through you and that revives you as well as the person you’re speaking to.
That’s the cure for dead churches and a dead Christians.
He’s the cure for the grumpy old men, too.
“God’s eternal promise for a bowl of beans! Seems rather stupid after the beans are gone and your belly is full, doesn’t it Esau? (Genesis 25:32) People make the exchange all the time, though.”