Run For Your Life

Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." NIV

It was a gorgeous, sunny day. A perfect for a beach outing. As we drove from our hotel to the water front, we were already anticipating a day of relaxation, far from the worries and daily duties of life.

Though it was early in the morning, tourists from all over the world already covered almost every square meter of sand. We dropped our beach gear onto one of the only spots still available, and before we could say, "Come back! You need sunscreen!" Our boys were already in the water.

It didn't take long for my wife and I to spread out our things, and we soon found ourselves relaxing on our beach towels. The warmth of the sun and sand, even under the beach umbrella, soon made me sleepy however, making it hard for me to concentrate on my book. Thinking that a walk would wake me up, I invited my wife to come along.

"I don't feel like it right now," she responded, without even looking up from her book. "Maybe later!"

I didn't have any better luck with the boys: "We want to climb that coconut tree! Maybe tomorrow!"

"Oh well," I said with a resigned sigh. "I guess I'll go by myself!" And I started off.

The beach was so littered with people that I had to really pay attention to not step on anyone. The only place free of sunbathers was the water's edge; but when I made my way there, I was immediately surrounded with little ones. Farther to the north, I noticed an empty stretch of sand. I knew it would take me far from my family, but the call of solitude was strong, and besides, they didn't seem to be missing me all that much anyway!

It took me half an hour to reach this narrow stretch of beach, but the peaceful serenity of the pale blue water on one side and the palm tree-lined hill on the other made the hike well worth my effort. I was enjoying the swaying of the trees in the gentle breeze when I almost stepped on a beautiful star fish. As I bent down to admire this strange creature, however, I noticed something strange about the ocean-It had begun to pull itself away from the shore! Strange!

A few moments later I perceived something else unusual. It looked like a lot of foam was appearing in the middle of the ocean. What was going one?

I stared at the water for a moment longer as reality slowly dawned: A huge wave was forming: A tidal wave! A tsunami! It would reach me before it reached ... Oh no! My family! All of those other people on the beach! I needed to warn them! But I was so far away! The tidal wave would reach me before I could even contact them, even if I sprinted as fast as I could!

I started to run anyway, straight towards that tourist-packed part of the beach.

"But if you climbed up that sandy hill, you'd be safe from the tsunami!"

I looked around. Where had THAT terrible thought come from? How could I think of saving myself when my family and all of those innocent people had no clue there was even trouble? I started to run even faster, screaming at the top of my lungs: "There's a tsunami coming. Get out of there! You're in danger!"

Would my family even hear my cry? Would anyone hear me? Were all of my efforts in vain? What about...

I awoke, tossing and turning, my body drenched in sweat. Opening my eyes I cried: "Where is the tsunami?" But I wasn't running down a beach, I was in my own bed. Jumping up, I quickly checked on my wife and two boys. When I found them all asleep, I realized that it had all been nothing more than a nightmare.

But what if I hadn't been asleep? What would have been my decision then? Would I have climbed to safety and watched multitudes being swallowed by the wave? Or would I have perished trying to warn them?

That's when I realized that I face the same kind of dilemma on a daily basis. The Lord cries out: "Look at all the people you are encountering that don't even know their Maker. What are you doing about them? Do you prefer to stay in the safety of your refuge or are you trying to reach out to them? Are you truly my witness?"

What will your answer be?

Rob Chaffart

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