Friday, November 16, 2007

Christ in common

I hung out today with a man who has been in ministry for sometime now. The gray in his beard gives him away. I am always cautious about getting together with older guys who have been in ministry for a long time. They usually have their opinions about everything and are sure that you should have them too.

But Earl was different. I found myself really appreciating Earl's wisdom, insight and enthusiasm. He may have the look of a man in his 60's but his heart is young. It was clear that all it took to get him pumped up about life is talking about Christ. Ministry lit up his face. His passion seemed to seep through the pores of his skin.

By the end of our hour and a half get-together over coffee, I found myself encouraged and a little inspired. How is it that Earl and I could be separated by at least 30 years and yet we could have such a great time hanging out? The one thing that we had most in common was the one thing that most mattered. Christ is the glue that keeps his life together. Christ is the glue that keeps my life together. And Christ is the thing that Earl and I have most in common.

What I learned today is that, sometimes, old guys are not just about giving lectures born of wisdom and experience. Some of them actually have more passion, more energy and more encouraging words packed into their pinky finger than many guys half their age. That is the kind of thing that happens to a life sold out to Christ for all those years. Rather than losing steam, they gain it. Rather than slowing down, they speed up. Rather than burning out, they are lit with a fire that is contagious.

I also learned that if you have Christ in common, everything else is small potatoes. There is nothing that could unify two strangers more than Him.


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