I’m well aware that God doesn’t always get the best of me. It’s just that I’m busy, and I get tired, and – to be honest – there are plenty of things that I’d rather be spending my time and energy on than God. Of course, sometimes God does get my best, but not often. He gets what I feel like I can afford, which is much less than I can actually afford. I think that God is used to living on starvation rations.
I was thinking about this because I had been reminded about a story I was told once. It’s about Jimmy Carter, who was the 39th President of the United States, and it’s from his book Why not the Best?.
Apparently, Jimmy Carter was once asked to speak at a church in Preston, Georgia on the topic of ‘Christian Witnessing’. Carter had been a member of Plains Baptist Church, which held an annual one-week outreach event where members of the church would visit people in their homes and share the gospel with them. He thought that, as part of his sermon, he would share from these experiences. He worked out that, in the fourteen years since leaving the Navy, he had visited 140 homes to tell people about Jesus. He felt quite proud of his efforts.
Then he started thinking about his 1966 campaign to be elected governor of Georgia. During the three month campaign he spent between sixteen and eighteen hours a day trying to reach as many people as possible. He calculated that he had met about 300,000 Georgians.
Carter was humbled by the comparison. In fourteen years he had reached 140 people for God, and in three months he had reached 300,000 people for himself.
God isn’t the only one who has to make do with the scraps from my table – I also have a family that doesn’t get the attention that they deserve. I don’t think that there’s any point feeling guilty about such things, but I do like to try and keep myself honest.