March, 2020 – This Is it? – This Is It?!!

March, 2020 – This Is it? – This Is It?!!

When I ‘winter’ for a couple of months in Georgia where my oldest and my youngest sons and their families live, I rent an apartment in a ‘gated’ apartment complex.  It sounds fancy – and safe, but it is really neither.  But, that’s okay.  It allows me to be near my four grandchildren in Newnan, GA to go to their school activities, watch them participate in sports, and spend some one-on-one time with each of them.  I love it.  It is such a gift to be near them for the eight weeks.

However, because it is not a permanent situation, the apartment I rent is furnished with the barest, the most minimal of furniture.  Thankfully, the apartment has a kitchen with a fridge and stove – but besides that this is what else I have:  a queen-size blow-up bed, a utility table and four chairs.  That’s it.  My existence for the two months takes the term ‘minimalist’ to a whole new level.  If you think about it, though, that is really all I need – a place to sleep, and a place to work and eat.  I love it.  It serves as a rather basic, functional place in order to enjoy my grandkids – but could be seen, I suppose, to lend itself to a rather monastic and contemplative lifestyle in the time spent in the apartment for this short period of time.

Having never seen a place so sparsely furnished, the first time my four-year-old grandson entered the apartment, I think he was in shock.  I’ll never forget his really loud words, “This is it?  THIS IS IT?!!”  He couldn’t believe that anyone could live like this.  And I told him, “Yes, this is it” – and asked him what more would I need . . .  He agreed that, ‘yes’, I did have what one would need to live – but still it was the oddest thing he had ever seen, I’m sure.

Recently, I received an email from a friend who seemed to be duly impressed at what the Lord is using me to accomplish in Romania.  He had just read my latest update mentioning what had gone on in the previous two weeks.  He even likened it to stories related in Scripture, and I am truly glad he was inspired, but if he could have heard only the day before a conversation here in Romania with a dear old friend.  We were sitting over lunch with the whole family, but my thoughts to my friend were, “What on earth am I doing for the Kingdom – for the Lord?” – because it really does seem like nothing.  Quite different from the words that were to come to me a day later with far too much praise and awe.

I believe with all my heart that I am doing what the Lord asked me to all those years ago – to minister to the orphans.  I believe that I have done it faithfully and to the best of my ability. That grew into ministering to another marginalized group, the Gypsies.  And I believe that I have done that to the best of my ability.  And as God kept adding more and more responsibilities to the point of being overwhelmed at times, I still believe that with His guidance, wisdom and strength, each aspect has been handled, not always perfectly in any manner, but as well as I knew how.

Yet – the conversation at the new little restaurant here in Noua, the section of Brasov where I live, turned to wondering what on earth was I doing with my time when the need is so great everywhere – and so many need to know of Jesus’ love, and plan of salvation for us.  From one’s perspective, I am admired and praised – from my perspective, I feel total inadequate.  I echoed my grandson’s words, “This is it?  This is it?!!  This is all I can do for the Kingdom?  I feel as if I am doing almost nothing.  Absolutely nothing . . .“   My friend said that sometimes he feels the same.

I figure I have one life.  What does it amount to if I accomplish what seems much of the time to be nothing?  There must be more that I can do.  There must be more that the Lord requires from me.  Frankly, I’m kind of on the tail-end of my life.  My prayer is that The Lord God, The Almighty will use me in such a more powerful and effective way in being His eyes and heart, hands and feet in the time I have left.  I truly praise God for all He has chosen and allowed me to do, but please don’t let this ‘be it’.

“not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;”  –  Romans 12.11