“Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:2 KJV)
Have you ever been really busy? I mean really really busy? So busy that when assistance was offered you that you refused it? Had you had a moment to consider the offer of help with even a little bit of rationality you would have seen that dividing the work among two or three would actually lighten your load. Even if the one offering assistance was not as qualified as you to handle the details of the situation, you now have both missed the chance at a lighter load and you have robbed him of one of the best learning opportunities. It is often in the heat of the moment that character, diligence, and the best real life experience takes place. Of course the big challenge in accepting the help is that if there is to be delegation or training to take place, we want a controlled environment. We want to teach the best posture, the best policy, and the best way to handle a theoretical situation. Our whole goal tends to be building a container large enough for the scenarios that we might maintain structure in all processes. It is the natural instinct of a manager. It requires a great deal of surrender to let go and delegate. It requires even more to step back and educate or mentor. It can be challenging to have a laser beam focus on a series of tasks and then to have to realize in the midst of the action that there may be something of very real value reaching out to help when you are least prepared to connect with it.
This places us in a very awkward position. The Christian must have a heavy importance on discipleship and teaching. Yet, all to often when the Lord brings these opportunities our way, we are busy on another task. Not that the task we are busy on is bad. It is probably valid and in need of being done sooner rather than later. Still... Whatever the task is, would it not be done better if the work were split into two or three portions rather than one (see Ecclesiastes 4:9)? Does it not increase the redundancy of the knowledge of the task should one fall? Is there not a witness between those present of the greatness of what was just accomplished both during the process and after it is complete? Is it more important to get from point A to B or to exercise the practice of love, discipleship, and falling on our knees together before the one who hears our every concern?
One of the hardest challenges in presenting the gospel to an unbeliever is that we want to have a list of benefits ready to illustrate the very reasonable decision for stepping forward in a decision for Christ. Of course we do. We want to determine who we are going to, when, about what, and for how long. We have forgotten the basics of surrender. The thing that catches us off guard is that the recruits are already there and want to help. The clarity of the task in not yet there for them. It ought to be for us. When someone wants to help, no matter how obscure the task, we should not respond on the merits of their ability to help with the task, but on the hidden merits of discipleship. The concept of love your neighbor is not always find a neighbor to love, but can be to show your neighbor love who is already there. Note the side benefit that you can accomplish the original task and disciple without loosing any time, because you now have two or three people working on the task. You will also be amazed at how God can use even the most obscure tasks to further His purposes if your ear is constantly listening to Him. Those who make room for relationships, mentoring opportunities, and new disciples allow the those called to help with the harvest a chance to get started even when it may not seem like harvest work when the request is made.
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20 KJV)