The other day I had the opportunity to sit with Ira. He is a older man such as myself and we were just talking. I had been out walking and enjoying the sunshine and quiet and I waved at him and he waved me over. It was obvious that he had time to talk and certainly wanted to chew the rag together for a while.
I don’t know Ira well. I have seen him a few times in the past few years and chatted briefly as we passed each other on the road or at the lake front. He was always busy doing what he was doing and I was not looking for extra company nor did I have the need to know another person or spend time with someone else. My relational plate is rather full. But he wanted to talk.
He’s a believer. I mean a real Christian. He even pastored for a decade and a half and was bi-vocational. He worked during the week in the lumber camps of British Columbia; preached and ministered on the weekends. He had a major accident in the lumber camp when a tree he was cutting hit him in the head. Lost an eye and had a series of serious operations to repair the damage. Scars are still very evident. Moved out to my area of the world, tried raising cattle and a number of other ways to make a living. Now running a campground. General all-around Mr. Fix-It.
But, the point is we talked the whole time about Jesus. While learning all this background of how he came to be where he is now and who he is now, we continually talked about Jesus. I mean, should we not give credit to whom credit is due. If it were not for Jesus neither he nor I would have a story to tell that turned out so well and allowed us to be so blessed in so many ways.
And, he mentioned the flavour of Christian he is and how he was hardcore in his beliefs. So much so that he put them ahead of Jesus. And, as a result, focused on convincing people that his theology and understanding was the only right one to the detriment of preaching Jesus and seeing people born again and come into the Kingdom by the blood of Jesus. And, he admitted that he had been wrong to put something else ahead of salvation through the blood of Jesus. And, that he was changing, softening in a good way. That God showed him how he had been wrong in his understanding for many years and helped him to admit his mistakes and then bring change to his life so as not to repeat the same mistake again.
The whole conversation – about our lives, the Bible, Jesus, doctrines and beliefs, the church – traditional and house styles … it was a wonderful conversation. I sat and talked to him for over an hour and it seemed like 15 minutes. We didn’t focus on ourselves or our doctrines or our accomplishments. It was all about Jesus and what He has accomplished… true fellowship. Seriously enjoyable. Powerfully uplifting and encouraging. It was so good to sit and talk about Jesus and share some of what He has done in our lives, giving God all the glory. So good.
Really it was seriously good because often when believers get together they talk about their issues, the hurts, their medical situation, all the troubles and issues they are facing. They are the focus and the center of the conversation. And, in case you have not guessed it yet – this does not make for good fellowship. In fact, it should never be called fellowship.
Thanks Ira for a great time of good, encouraging, and powerful fellowship. It and you were the highlight of my day.