I was sitting in an airport. I have traveled a fair amount so this is not an unusual thing. I love to travel so I cannot decide if God called me to be a missionary because He knew I would love to travel or if I love to travel because I am called to be a missionary. Really doesn’t matter though I think it is the latter.
My normal routine is to get off the plane, walk for an hour or so, find a place to eat, get on the internet (if I can and in some airports I cannot), play catch up and use that to “people-watch”. I love to watch people. I use those observations to pray for the different ones God shows me. Just a favorite pastime of mine. And again, I don’t know if I love to sit and people watch because I like to pray or if my heart is moved to pray because of what I see when I people watch. Unimportant I suppose but just some of the things that make me wonder. This day I saw so many odd things in such a short time I was a little overwhelmed.
I headed to the sushi place but when I got in line I felt the Lord tell me to go to McDonald’s. Now McDonalds is not my favorite by a long shot and I AM in Japan so sushi sounded perfect to me but I got out of line and headed to Mickey D’s. Filet of fish is always my order so I stood in line watching how differently things are done here. Very polite. No crowding. VERY fast. Everything a little different. There was a Japanese family sitting next to me (same table even—I AM in Japan).
The husband and the 2 boys were about done eating and the mom had just started. The dad was an angry man but that is not really unusual either. The oldest son said something to the dad and the dad threw the phone at him, chewed him out—the kid had that slow heat that creeps up someone’s neck when they are embarrassed and it is turning to rage. I was praying for the whole family. The mom tried to defuse, the dad was having none of it, threw a fit and stomped off. The boys cleaned up the dad’s mess and followed the mom--who was still trying to eat—chase after the dad.
My heart broke for that boy. It took everything I had not to say something, to intervene and yet I have been in an abusive relationship. It would not have helped. At one time anger—that red rage that takes over your actions controlled my life. It would not have helped. So I did the one thing I knew would benefit all of them. I prayed. I prayed for the boy NOT to grow up abusive like his dad. I prayed for the family to get saved. I prayed for the dad to come to his senses. I prayed.
As soon as they left I started to eat and realized there were 2 groups of Americans a few tables away. They were all from different areas of the south. One group was 6 young 20’s, the other was a family of 5. The husband of the family talked in total animation to the youngsters. They discussed so much: travels, food, airports, activities, prices of things and so on…..As I listened I realized they were doing what so many Americans do when they travel. They were putting down thing after thing in Japan. I was embarrassed. Nothing was good enough. They were loud and mocking about the country they were visiting. Apparently everything is better in the US which makes me wonder why they came to Japan for a vacation.
I knew the Lord had me here for a reason—after all I gave up sushi for this. So I listened. One of the 6 came back from getting a soda refill and one of the girls in the group asked him if they charged him full price for it (of course they did—apparently they haven’t traveled much). His comment was “I have got to get out of this dump and get too a real country.”
Dump? Did he even bother to look around at the beauty of this country? Did he miss the gentle, polite people who live here? Did he notice the delicate beauty of all the art?
Did he use one of their world-famous toilets for Pete’s sake?
|panel on Japanese electronic toilet|
As I sat and wondered how they missed the beauty of Japan I heard the Lord talk to me about the world He created. People complain about everything. Christians complain. Have you noticed the beauty surrounding you? Have you seen the delicate beauty of the flowers blooming in the spring? The intricacy of the seasons? The rushing mountain streams? The expanse of sky when you top a hill? The delicacy of the white clouds hanging in the blue sky? How about that gentle feeling of the rain when he falls? The smell of fresh cut grass?
We are in this world and not supposed to act like everyone else but allow ourselves to be transformed by the word. Does the “world” hear you complaining about everything? Do you sound JUST like the world? Do you cause people to wonder if you are REALLY a Christian and if so why did you bother since you are so miserable?
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.
What does this have to do with intercession?
Go on a “complaining” fast. Watch how it changes your outlook and attitude. Use that change to intercede for the ones who are still in negative mode. Pray the positive, declarative, informative word of God not the whiny, complaining begging that does no good but makes you feel like you did something.
It is time to step into our callings intercessors……