by Jeff Merrick
As I am writing this article, or observation if you will, I am sitting in the Denver International Airport on my way to preach a revival meeting in Washington State. I was “blessed’ with a four hour layover. Praise the Lord it being made bearable by a well-placed Seattle’s Best Coffee. Starbucks would have been better, but when in a foreign land one has to make due.
It truly could be in a foreign land as I sit and watch every size, shape, nationality and manner of people go by. Just now a man walked by wearing a bright lime green shirt from the 70’s, with a tie, a large cowboy hat and blue pants. He chose to complete his ensemble with a pair of sandals that were no doubt resurrected from the hippie movement of the 1960’s. There goes a young boy with a physical disability in a self-propelled wheel chair. He is on his 15th lap around the concourse at speeds that seem to be in excess of 30 miles per hour. People are wisely giving him a clear path. I do not know who he is with, or where he is going, but he is most certainly having an enjoyable time as he rounds another turn and starts down the back straightaway of the concourse. There are “scroungy” people, well dressed people, frequent flyers and those who appear to have not the slightest clue about air travel. There are people in expensive business suits and some who are almost in their birthday suits.
They are all so different but they all have a few things in common. First, they are all in a hurry. I have no idea where they are all going but it must concern a matter of great importance because every one of them is decidedly in a hurry to get there. Some of them are running to catch their next connection. Some are hurrying to board as if they believe being the second person to board will somehow get them to their destination more quickly than being the eighth person. Judging from the number of people on their cell phones and computers, trying to finish some matter of urgent business before they rush to board, I am truly in the company of an inordinate number of very important people.
Secondly, they all have lives. As I look at the crowded concourse and boarding areas filled with all manner of people, I am struck with the thought of how many lives, marriages, families, relationships and circumstances these strangers represent. They all have families of some kind. No doubt a number of them enjoy a happy home life which may explain why they are in a hurry, desiring to return to it. If I knew all their stories there would doubtless be those who are in the midst of divorce, those with cancer, those who are on their way to bury a loved one and perhaps some to be married. If I could ask each of them of their destination I am sure I would find children on their way home after being away at school and young children in route to spent two weeks at their dad’s house because their parents are divorced. I am confident I would encounter grandparents on their way to see those precious grand-babies. There would be those traveling for business, military service, to help a friend, and those who are in the process of moving to a new city as they start another chapter in their lives. How many lives and circumstances of life these people represent.
However, as I watch the multitudes of people go by, I am reminded a fresh and anew that there are really only two kinds of people walking by me in numbers and at a rate so fast that at times they appear almost a blur. Every one of them is an individual soul who is lost or saved, heading for an eternity with their Lord, or to a devil’s hell. I am reminded once again of the multitudes that remain unsaved, perishing, without an eternal hope and without God in the world. More than anything, I am ashamed because I am reminded of how little I do to reach these people in comparison to the untold number who are lost. How desperately we need more preachers, missionaries and churches.
How desperate is our need for ordinary men and women who are conscious of the masses of people who pass them every day in the course of their lives, but who are lost. How we need saved men and women who will do more to reach those with whom they come in contact. There are many people in our lives who are not nameless faces we pass in an airport terminal. They are our friends, loved ones, co-workers. They too have lives, stories, souls and are in need of our Saviour.
I am taken with how little we really do when I see how many are lost. How great is the field! How few are the laborers!
Will I do more? Will you? Would you be faithful to visitation, in giving to missions and in being a missionary to the circle of people God brings into your life and sphere of influence? Would you say “yes,” if God were to ask you to surrender all to go to the mission field in the battle for the multitudes of the unsaved?
We need more help. As I see the people passing by me, it is apparent that I cannot win them all or even tell them all. You cannot win them all, but would you help snatch a few out of the flames. As I see them, so many with no idea of what lay ahead for them, I am trying to imagine them in hell. Let’s do all we can to see that this image never becomes a reality—at least for some.
by Jeff Merrick