by David Phelps

"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person." - Mother Teresa

October, 1996

Earlier this year, my coworker, Brooks, bought a new car. There was only one thing about it that was odd: His new car was almost two years old. No, it wasn't a used car. It had never been sold, leased or rented; it simply sat on the dealer's lot , unsold, until he bought it. The car is a '95 model and, when he bought it, it sat in the midst of a lot full of '96 models. Furthermore, the '97 models would be arriving in just a few short months. Why was it still sitting on the dealer's lot? I don't know. Brooks doesn't know either. He can't find anything wrong with it. And everyone who has seen it agrees that it's a very nice car.

I can imagine what the dealer must have been saying: "Why can't we sell it? What's wrong with it? That car has been sitting on our lot for almost two years and no one will buy it."

I suppose some folks would say God wanted Brooks -- who is a Christian -- to get a good deal on a new car, but I have a more secular theory: The right person simply hadn't come along yet.

The same thing holds true for our witnessing. Someone may have heard the message of Christ dozens of times without responding. I know I did. Perhaps you or I will have the right words or the right approach that will prompt them to respond. The vineyard owner in the parable didn't just go to the marketplace looking for workers once but again and again. (Matt. 20:1-16). My friend Brooks bought a car no one else would. "The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner." (Psa. 118:22 RSV). Our persistence can pay big spiritual dividends for persons who are looking for Christ. We might end up witnessing to someone who will become a cornerstone of the church.

"So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ." (Rom. 10:17 RSV.)


Copyright © 1996 by Maplewood UMC