My favorite Christmas gift this year was an iPod shuffle given to me by my son. Tiny in size yet it can store 500 plus songs. It is a great companion as I jog; take a long walk, or just working around the house. I have loaded several CD’s that are my favorites. I guess folks don’t load songs they hate unless they are going thru some type of guilt complex or something.
Anyway, there are two ways to listen through your play list on your iPod. You can have it play the songs you’ve loaded in their sequence, or you can do what I usually do, have it shuffle through your list. When it is on this setting, the iPod will play all the songs loaded at random. So while running I can be listening to the incredible thumb style guitarist mastery of Tommy Immanuel and the next song could be Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder playing fast bluegrass, Joe Satriani another great guitarist or my favorite, or the Imperials playing some of their great hits in the 70’s. The sequence of the songs is always at random and always somewhat surprising. I never know what is coming next.
The iPod shuffle has taught me something about my walk with God. When you think about it, life is a constant, continual, surprising shuffle. It comes to us at different speeds, with different emotions. Each day we don’t know what “life tune experience” is coming next. In our daily walk as followers of Christ we don’t know what is going to happen in our run for Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2). It might be a song that takes us in a totally new direction. It might be a song that speeds us up, slows us down or changes the direction of our day. The point is we must be ready.
My wife and I were at a restaurant recently during some cold snowy weather. Our waiter was very efficient and kind. Our goal was to get in and get out quickly because it was still snowing and we wanted to get home safely. At the end of our meal the waiter brought us our bill and after he left the table I noticed he forgot to add my wife’s coffee. Immediately I thought…oh no this is going to be a hassle and take too much time to correct. It even occurred to me… what’s the big deal about $1.85 cup of coffee? He will probably just let it go any way. But if the mistake had been the other way around, I would have brought it to their attention. (Then the tune changed.)
As he came back to our table, I shared with him that he had forgotten to add my wife’s coffee. He was quite surprised and thanked us profusely. He shared many examples of people who come in the restaurant and do not report mistakes on their bills. He left to fix our bill and I really felt that I needed to share with this man why I am honest.
When he came back to the table I shared with him that I was a follower of Jesus Christ, a Christian, and that Jesus would desire for me to do the right thing. The waiter immediately paused, looked at us and said, “I am a Muslim.” And then he added, “but I have not been to a mosque for a long time.” He went on to share that he had met some Christians recently who had invited him to church. He had a very positive view toward Christ and we could tell he was open spiritually. We talked some more and then he had to go back to his work. My wife looked at me and said, “For a $1.85, we got to share about Jesus!”
Today the “shuffle of life” will happen for all of us. Be ready to listen, to share, to minister, to make a difference for the Kingdom. It’s the song of following Jesus every moment of every day. It’s exciting and sometimes it cost a $1.85.