I was at it again Saturday, asking embarrassing questions of restaurant personnel while with a friend. JimmyJohns in Big Rapids, MI was the site this time and my somewhat shocked friend was the son of my pastor friend in Michigan who I am filling in for while he is away on a much needed sabbatical.
“What are you doing to change the world today?” I asked the three gals behind the counter.
“I’m making sandwiches for hungry people” said the first.
“Okay. You can’t say what she just said,” I said to the gal now collecting my money.
“I’m delivering sandwiches to hungry people.”
“Okay, just thought I’d ask how are you changing the world today.”
Sometimes these exchanges go further than others. This one ended pretty quick with friendly banter and fairly uneventful answers. While there, I wasn’t really impressed with either gal’s answer. It’s not that you can’t change the world by making sandwiches, it’s just that I had the sense that they weren’t trying to change the world; they were just trying to make it through the day. But as I thought about it later it reminded be of something I read years ago by Tolstoy and recently reread. The Russian novelist Tolstoy wrote a short story about a King in search of how to rule his kingdom well. He determined that if he knew three things he would know exactly how to rule. Look it up, it will only take you two minutes to read. But, here, I’ll spoil you with the punch line.
Remember that there is only one important time and it is Now. The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion. The most important person is always the person with whom you are, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future.
The most important pursuit is making that person, the one standing at your side, happy, for that alone is the pursuit of life.” (Tolstoy)
Now if Christians would remember that, and live for Christ in each moment of every day, as if the person that God has put in front of them (not the person on their cell phone) is the most important person in the world, and will tell them the only news that will make them eternally happy—-the world will be a completely different place.