“I am committed to the cause of Christ, and no matter what comes my way I will pay the price.”
I had no idea when I spoke those words one year ago how much it would cost me.
My life “B.C.” was pretty much a string of getting drunk at political gatherings, giving inane speeches filled with specious promises specifically tailored to please each audience. I loved the cheers and the plastic adoration; it was all coordinated for the cameras to bolster my image so I would be re-elected again.
But somewhere along the way---perhaps it was just the fact I was getting older—I started looking back on my life and wondered, “What am I doing with my life? What legacy am I leaving behind? What—or whom—am I really committed to?” I know I was committed to my political party and to getting re-elected, but for what?
“What is the point of it all?”
In the middle of July I had a break from the usual political campaign rat race, and slipped away. I actually drove myself in a rented car (no limousine this time) around the small city we were campaigning in, and finally parked in a downtown area, got out of the car and slowly started walking. I soaked in the sunshine on my face, and focused on the sights and sounds around me. I heard a man on his cell phone as he stepped around me, apparently arguing with his wife or girlfriend. He was saying something like, “I don’t have time for this!” Sirens echoed off the building as an ambulance swooshed by. Then, a lady appeared from around the corner, pulling a wagon, with 6 toddlers ambling behind the wagon.
The wagon sported a God’s Little Lambs Child Care logo.
“Excuse me, ma’am?” I clearly saw that I had interrupted her routine.
“Where is a good place to eat around here?”
She simply pointed to a storefront across the street.
“Okay, thanks!” The thought crossed my mind to hand her one of my slick re-election brochures, but this was neither the time nor the place.
The restaurant sported the owner’s name, BRUNSON’S. As I opened the aging glass door, a small bell went off, and I was greeted with the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls.
“Nice.” I muttered to myself. A waitress walked past and I inquired, “May I sit anywhere?”
“Yes sir—anywhere you like. Just don't sit on a table.” She giggled and walked behind the main counter.
“Thanks.” I chose a booth by the windows facing the street. The sun gloriously streamed into the restaurant.
“I brought you some coffee—hope you don’t mind.”
“You read my mind. Thank you so much.”
Our conversation continued, and covered everything from weather to politics (of course) to God. As it turned out, Maggie was a born again Christian. She took her lunch break with me and taught me a Bible Study during the short time we had together.
“If you want to know more—and it seems like you really do—come out to church tonight. Here’s our card.” Maggie smiled.
“Thank you... I will come.” I pulled out my smart phone and immediately cancelled my campaign appearance scheduled for that evening.
I had never been to such a church service in my life. I was amazed at the love the people had for each other, and how they welcomed me as if they knew me all of my life. I went to the altar that night and became born again by water and the Spirit—and I was forever changed.
I committed myself to Christ.
After the church service, several families gathered at Brunson’s restaurant and talked late into the night. One of them even bought my meal as part of the impromptu celebration. I never felt such love, joy and peace until that night.
The next morning, challenges to my newfound commitment started with an early morning call from my staff. The president of the company I was scheduled to speak at was very upset, and they hastily re-scheduled the speech for noon.
A strange thing happened. As I was getting dressed, I felt impressed to re-write my speech opened my laptop and started editing, from my heart.
I finished the speech with “I am committed to the cause of Christ, and no matter what comes my way I will pay the price. Through Him, I am committed to you.”
That year I wasn’t re-elected.
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