Another Day in Paradise -- He Said
- Another Day In Paradise- By Eddie Jones
“I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wickedness.” Psalm 84:10
I took a seat on the “chicken bus,” hugging my backpack to my chest. Outside brown-skin people scurried from stall-to-stand as street venders hawked bananas, mangos and poultry. Spikes of broken glass ran along the top of a cinderblock wall, protecting the busses from vandalism and thieves. In a place where lawlessness runs rampant even rudimentary forms of security offer a measure of comfort.
In a few minutes the aisle swelled with peasants standing chest-to-back, the heat oppressive as the bus idled. Over the radio speaker a popular Phil Collins tune began to play and I wondered if the song was more than just a random selection. Perhaps God was whispering to me.
“Oh, think twice, ‘cause it's just another day for you and me in paradise.”
Nicaragua wasn’t paradise. Not even close. But it was the place to which I’d chosen to vacate so as the sweat soaked the front of my shirt I thought of the long bus rides over dusty highways and muddy roads, cool showers dripping from rusty pipes and a bathroom trash can overflowing with used potty paper. (Only Flush Fluids And Such, read the sign above the toilette in my hostels.)
Then I thought of Christ and how he, too, had left the splendor of His Father’s kingdom to travel to an impoverished people. But for Him, leaving the luxury of His palace to save and serve me was more than a minor inconvenience. It was His life’s mission.
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet,” He said. “I have set an example for you. Now, do as I have done for you.”
As the song ended, the bus pulled away. For me it was just another day in paradise, but I sensed God was calling me to a new pilgrimage, to something more than just a week of surfing the coast of Nicaragua. I had the means to help these people find the riches of God’s kingdom, even the time. But was I willing? Had I become addicted to the palatial comforts of my “tent of the wickedness?”
If you feel God is calling you beyond your comfort zone to serve others do not ignore His voice. It just may be your role as doorkeeper in God’s house is to serve those in the streets and invite them into His kingdom.
Watching the Door -- She Said
- Listen to Watching the Door- By Cindy Sproles
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.—Psalm 84:10
I sat at my computer, chin resting in my palm, frustrated and shunned. I'd waited, just like I was asked, and then nothing. I gritted teeth and wrenched my jaw. Self-pity seeped in. I'd done everything that was asked, been on time, answered the questions, and now—now I have to wait again. Couldn't someone be inconvenienced for me, just once?
Do this, do that; be here, go there. Wait. I grumbled, tossed my pen, then sent my desk chair rolling across the floor. I popped the monitor switch with my knuckle and shut the door. I'd had it. I took the stairs by threes and headed to the pond.
What does it mean to be a servant? Does servanthood mean always being left behind? Always being last?
A breeze brushed the hair from my eyes as I lay, one arm and leg hanging off my swing. The impending night sky pushed the last remnants of daylight away, and I thought, "I'm tired of being the fall guy?"
The tree limbs swayed back and forth in front of me and as my eyes adjusted to the darkness I began to think of how Jesus must have felt when He asked His disciples to wait for Him — to keep watch and pray — only to return and find them sleeping. Could they not serve Him for just one hour?
That's when it hit me, the realization that I, too, was derelict in my duty. I’d allowed myself to fall into the pit of pouting, thinking only of my needs, not the desires of my Father or, more importantly, the needs of others.
Striving to be Christ-like isn’t hard; it only requires that we give up and give in to His will. Ah, but that’s where our free will battles best, striving to retain control.
My bitter thoughts melted as I rolled off of the swing, resting on my knees, face buried in the grass. "Oh, Father, I'm so slack. I had a place at the door of your house and I walked out to go looking for a better room. Please forgive me."
The job of a doorkeeper doesn't protect us from frustration and temptation. The hard time will come. We are, after all, standing in the doorway as the storms swirl outside. But I would rather be abundantly blessed in His house than left to fend for myself in the streets.
Has someone asked you to stand in the gap for them, to lift them up and serve them in a time of need? Don’t shirk your duty. To serve is to see the face of Christ in those who are hurting.
Eddie Jones, author, columnist and humorist, and Cindy Sproles author and columnist are the co-founders (along with the Father) of ChristianDevotions.US. Two friends, called by the Father to serve together in this ministry, they work along with 22 other writers to spread the Word of God worldwide.