"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I Ain't Got My Boots Off Yet

Several months ago, a group of ladies were at a state park up in the north Georgia mountains staying in one of the cabins. Over the weekend, they had various misadventures, including locking themselves out of the cabin in the wee hours of the morning. The last adventure included going out of the park to town for dinner and not making it back in time before the gates to the park were closed and locked. There was no gatehouse or anyone available to open the gate and my friends even attempted to hotwire the gate mechanism to no avail. Finally, they managed to reach one of the park rangers to ask for assistance in getting in and his reply was that he would come because, “well, I ain’t got my boots off yet.” He showed up shortly, opened the gate and the rest of the evening proved uneventful. However, suppose the ranger already had taken his boots off for the night. Would he not have come and let the ladies in? Would he have just said, “too bad, the gates are locked at 10:00 p.m. and you just have to deal with it?” Possibly, he would have just told them he had already taken his boots off and could not come out to help.
How many times do we have a friend or family member call us for some help and our first thoughts are of all the reasons we really can’t (or don’t want to) help them. It may just be as simple as picking up an item at the store or giving them a ride home which is not even out of our way, yet we instantly think of reasons we don’t need to be involved. In other words, you’ve already taken your boots off.
Now, there is no one who enjoys getting home in the evening and kicking off their shoes and propping their feet up for an evening of reading, television or other mindless activities more than me. I prefer to get all my errands and meals taken care of before I get home, so when I kick back and relax I can know I don’t have to get out again. That ranger is probably the same way. After a long day of dealing with Yogi and BooBoo and other such things, I am sure those boots are pretty heavy and feel great to kick off. So, when the ladies called with a need, he was quick to say that he would come because he still had his boots on.
As for me, I’m glad that God doesn’t wear boots, or at least there is no theological research proving that He does. When I end up in some crisis of my own doing, I know I can call for His help and it will come, day or night. There are no hindrances, like boots, to God coming to our assistance. Why, you might ask? Well, for one thing, He loves us. Unconditionally. His only request is that we believe in Him and the gift of His Son. Doesn’t matter how good or bad we are; what we’ve done in the past; what we may have done this morning; He loves us and wants us to be a part of His family. Once you take that step, then God will be present with you from now until eternity, watching us and guiding us in a way of life that is way cooler than any drug or earthly substance.
The ranger came to the assistance of my friends; perhaps it was that God used the ranger as a vehicle of help since one of the ladies had some medication needs that were in the cabin. Don’t doubt that God will always come when you are locked out of the joyous life He provides. He will. His boots are always on.
And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.