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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"I'm only a bellman"

What does it mean to carry your cross daily? Is it to be humble? a servant? God centered and others-centered? not self centered?
To be a servant is ultimately in our eternal self-interest. Randy Alcorn (my favorite author) wrote in his book "Safely Home" about a man who dies to himself daily. Li Quan is a brilliant scholar, Harvard Summa Cum Laude, serves as a locksmith's assistant because in China, an outspoken Christian can't be a university professor or great writer. He quotes Martin Luther King who said," If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets as Michel Angelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will pause to say, "here lives a great street sweeper who did his job well." In his book, titled "Heaven" Randy tells of meeting a Bellman in Atlanta who was a great Christian who died daily, but was happy to do so. So what does it look like? Here is an excerpt of that description.
He writes; Should we be excited that God will reward us by making us rulers in His kingdom? Absolutely. Jesus said, "Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven." Matt. 5:12 God will choose who reigns as kings, and I'm confident some great surprises are in store for us. Christ gives us clues in Scripture as to the type of person he will choose: "Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth, blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" Matt 5:3,5,10. Also God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may life you up in due time" 1 peter 5;5-6
Look around you to see the meek and the humble. they may include street sweepers, locksmith's assistants, bus drivers, and stay-at-home moms who spend their days changing diapers, doing laundry, packing lunches, drying tears, and driving carpools.
Randy says that he gave his book on heaven to a hotel bellman in Atlanta. This man spends his days carring peoples luggage and seving them in countless ways. Randy discovered he was a committed Christian and this bellman told Randy that he had been praying for all the writers who had come to a convention and were staying at his hotel. When Randy gave his book to this man, he seemed stunned and overwhelmed. With tears in his eyes he said, "You didn't need to do that. I'm only a bellman." He said it immediately struck him that this man had spent his entire life serving others and was so happy and humble to do so that it will likely be someone like this whom Randy will be serving in God's kingdom. He was only a bellman who spoke with warmth and love, who served, who quietly prayed in the background for the success of Christian writers conference at his hotel, his appointed place of service. Randy says he saw Jesus in that bellman, and there was no "only" about him.
Who will be the kings of the New Earth? Randy says he thinks that bellman will be one of them and he will consider it an honor to serve and carry his bags.

Our bus driver drove us back to Atlanta and prayed before we left and he was so happy to serve us that way. Bill Stromate may be a ruler in the coming Kingdom of God.

5 comments:

BethAnne said...

Are you saying that people who wipe little tails and wash clothes all day might be kings in the New Earth????? There IS hope for me!!!

Amanda B. said...

I sure wish I had known you were at our church last nigth. I would have loved to meet you in person.

Thanks for sharing.

Greg P. said...

I've never read the book you are referring to, but, I've always thought that the ones who rule in heaven would be a surprise to many! God's ways are not our ways... and I am thankful for that!

Good post Eddie.

AnnaElizabeth said...

Sometimes it's hard to try to recognize the meek when I go to work, but the One thing that I always try to do, is talk to everyone that I meet when I go to work. Smile at them. Ask them how they're doing.
Even if they don't know my name, and I never work with them again, at least I'll have shown kindness.

This book sounds interesting. I would read it if I didn't have a list of 10 million books to read. I'll put it on the list...

BethAnne said...

Hello,
My name is Elizabeth Anne. I am a 35 year old mother of 2 boys who happen to be your grandchildren. I wanted to remind you that you have a blog and that it has not been updated for several days.

Thank you for your time,
Bethanne