Chuck Terrill: Listening to the Master†
I still believe in old-fashioned, week-long, fall church revivals.
I was driving to Council Grove, Kan., to preach one. I had plenty of time, so I decided to take the scenic route through the Flint Hills. It was a gorgeous day, and the hills were still green and covered with cattle.†
An old blue and white Ford pickup abruptly pulled out in front of me. I am certain the driver had not looked before entering the county road. I was forced to decelerate quickly. Then, I was stuck behind him. Double yellow lines went on for miles through those hills and it was impossible to pass. Twenty-five miles an hour was his top speed.
So, I tried to relax a little, and settled back in my seat.†
I could tell a few things about the man in the truck. He was either short, or slump shouldered. I could just see the top of his head through his back window.†
There was no tailgate on the pickup.†The green fenceposts, barbed wire, and balled up baling twin in the bed convinced me the owner was a rancher.†
The rancher was oblivious to me. He was on the lookout for a bad stretch of fence. He might have been checking the status of his herds.†
He was a smoker. Every little bit he would flick his cigarette ashes out of his open window.†
What stands out, as I think back, was the manís dog. It was a little dog. It rode on the back of the truck seat. As to breed, it was unidentifiable. A farmyard mutt, I assumed. The dogís hair was long, a mottled black and white. From its perch on the seat back, the dog had a view of everything his master was seeing.†
The rancher was discussing something with his dog. He would turn toward the dog, and I could see his lips move as he talked to his mutt. They were having quite a conversation!†
My heart melted when the dog laid its head on the old manís shoulder. The man would turn, speak to the mutt, and the mutt would lean over, and lay its head on its masterís shoulder.†
I say it melted my heart because what I observed is the kind of relationship I want to have with my Master. I, too, am nondescript, just a mutt, so to speak. I am weak, He is strong. He knows everything, and I know so little. He wants me to be with Him. He wants to be with me. He speaks to me, even though He knows I will understand little. I canít grasp everything He says, but I know enough to know that He loves me.†
My traveling delay, that day, was God ordained. It reinforced the longings of my own heart.†
I long to be with Him. Like a nondescript dog, I long to lay my head on my†Masterís†shoulder.
That would be genuine revival.
Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.