Finding time to read together is tough. In the few minutes between bleary eyes and breakfast, we’re lucky to fit in personal devotions. The window of time we have in the evenings is always over-booked: dinner, a walk, house projects, mail, e-mail…it doesn’t sound like much, but somehow it is. Before I blink, it’s past time to be in bed. Again. For the 8th night this week. Aaaaarghhh.
Of course, I know that the biggest reason we can’t find time to read is that we haven’t made the time. It’s something neither of us are proud of. Fiction in an ideal world….but hard fact in our real one. And it’s something that we’re working on. Have been for all our married life. One day, maybe we’ll have a regular, scheduled time for our reading. Until then, we’ll keep grabbing at the time we get, encouraging each other to prioritize, and thanking God for His patience and grace.
We did take a book on our trip(s). All told, we spent over 60 hours in the car last month. Believe me, in that length of time it is possible to talk about everything you ever wanted to talk about, hear every song on every radio station at least 3 times (even when your husband’s rental car comes with satellite radio), enjoy the scenery, and still have time left to twiddle your thumbs.
We did not spend even close to all 60 hours reading. For one, my voice can’t handle more than an hour or so at a time. Neither can Tim’s amazing attention span (it is NOT easy driving and following a biblical argument. I don’t know how he does it. But he does!) Also, I can only read on straight sections of interstate. This is partly due to my stomach (can’t handle the backroad curves) and partly due to my eyes (they are all about sight-seeing).
BUT we did get enough book time to be well on our way into Tell the Truth by Will Metzger. It’s a book on evangelism. I’d read it in college (my new theory is that my brain turned into a word processor in college as a matter of mere survival. This explains how I could read all that literature and retain almost nothing). Tim hadn’t.
Books on evangelism are very scary things. Because by the reading, one almost obligates oneself to the acting. Sharing the gospel should be a natural outworking of my faith. I know that. The fact that it isn’t is a bad sign…I know that, too. But how is one to take all this head knowledge of how things should and shouldn’t be and push it down into the heart? That is something I don’t know. And have been trying my whole life to learn.
How did I get here?
This post was supposed to be about Sarah.
Sarah was our waitress at Byram’s on Thursday night.
Rewind 3 weeks: I resolve to love people more (this is not something I’m good at) ((We are reading this book on evangelism (((connection!!))) and I am convicted in this area)). I tell Tim: I am going to try to remember peoples’ names (does this seem like a foolish beginning for love? To me, it is key. If I don’t even care enough about a fellow image-of-God to remember their name…I have failed before I’ve even begun). People like waitresses in restaurants. Grocery store clerks. Customer service telephone operators. Neighbors. Etc.
Back to Byram’s: I am ready to put this resolution into full practice. Our waitress introduces herself, and I tuck the name away in my little memory. I pull it out again at the first opportunity: “Sarah, can we get some butter for our rolls?” Sarah gives me a glance of appreciation. Tim looks impressed. I feel quite pleased. I’m almost sure Jesus is smiling. I am very nice to the waitress the whole rest of the evening. Tim gives her a generous tip. I glance at our receipt on the way out the door. It reads, in part: “Your server this evening was: MARY”.
That is the cold, hard truth. Her name was Mary. I made Sarah up. How loving.
Thankfully, this is also true: we are saved by grace through faith, not of ourselves or anything good we do but by a completely undeserved gift from God: His Son, Jesus Christ. How thankful I am that His love covers all my failures!