Making It Count

man with beard wearing brown headscarf

If ever there was a

Time for every house

To be a house of prayer,

It is now.

When I began this piece on Monday I had a definite idea, but it got sideswiped.

My mind being what it is, that’s not difficult to do.

So, where did the idea come from and what does it mean to make it count? In some ways, it could go with the scriptural idea of running a race. The idea of finishing the course. Doing our best in all that we do.

Many is the time that I’ve tossed my washcloth from the tub the few feet across to our sink and thought “make sure you throw it hard enough it doesn’t fall short.” Or at other times I’ll take aim at the trash can and throw something away with the same thought of making sure I’ve made the effort count, of not coming up short.

“1 Corinthians 9:

24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:

27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

There are those times when I’m conscious of doing my best to make it count. Yet, there are the other days of my life. Far more of those days of my life when I do what needs to be done without much thought. The days that are like being on autopilot. On those days I don’t think, I just act and hopefully, I do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

We have said many times, “Pray as if all depends on God and work as if it all depends on us.” No matter, either way, we need God and we need much prayer.

After the tragedies we have seen in the last few weeks a meme that was on my feed was front and center in my mind.

If ever there was a

Time for every house

To be a house of prayer,

It is now.

The tragedy in Uvalde, Texas hadn’t happened when I began this post. That wasn’t what prompted these thoughts. I’m guessing that all of the facts about that disaster will never be known. That level of ineptitude didn’t happen without agenda.

Howbeit, the off-duty officer was sitting down for a haircut when he received a message from his wife who was a school teacher at the school where the shooter was. The officer grabbed his barber’s shotgun and drove quickly to the school.

He and several other officers evacuated children to safety, and he eventually shot and killed the shooter—but only after 19 children and two teachers were killed.

People are saying the border patrol officer who rescued children and dispatched the shooter should be hailed as a hero. Rightly so, but I’m afraid for the hero. A few years ago there was a church shooting and an armed citizen stopped it from worsening.

That private citizen from a few years ago, as far as I’m aware, was allowed to pick up his life and move on. This new hero is a current border patrol officer. I’m concerned that some of the people in charge won’t take kindly to their plans being thwarted.

But, again, this post isn’t about the catastrophes of this life. It isn’t about the inequalities of life. It’s about making it count. Most of us, we are thankful, will not be called on to run interference for these types of calamities. But day by day we face challenges mostly unrecognized by each of us.

Those challenges are what life is about. Jesus in one of his parables gave us the admonition to count the cost.

“Luke 14:

25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them,

26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,

30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”

Years ago I read an article concerning a missionary in a communist country. In order for the missionary to go into that country, he had to have a sponsor from the country. The person who acted as the sponsor had to sign an agreement that if anyone preached the gospel the sponsor would be thrown in prison for the rest of his life.

It wasn’t a secret that the sponsor knew the speaker was coming to preach the Gospel. That was the intent to preach the Gospel to the common people. Even though to do so the sponsor was signing his life away. He knew that he would be imprisoned for the rest of his life

As the missionary spent the time preaching, the response from the sponsor, the man signing his life away was, “Make It Count, my friend, make it count.”

“Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”