There is not a single one of us who has not invited someone to at least one thing in life. You may have invited someone to a party or to be your forever love. In addition to inviting people into a relationship with Jesus Christ, I have spent years of ministry inviting people to join a choir, worship team, senior adult ministry, or simply to attend a worship service. I cannot tell you how many times I have invited someone to something, only to hear this great line – “I just might surprise you and be there.” At this point, I can tell you that those who say this would literally surprise me to an early grave if they decided to show up. Well, today, I met the one who showed up when he said he would.
Two days ago, I was providing music for a senior center here in the upstate. Right before I left, one of the men engaged me in conversation for a few minutes. Within that few minutes, he asked where I pastored and responded with, “I’ll come see you.” As I said, I have heard that a lot. This man meant it and showed up between 5-10 minutes before the service started. It meant a lot to me because this man probably drove at least 30-45 minutes and even invited someone with him, although the individual didn’t take him up on it. He said he planned to be back sometime.
In life, it’s easy to focus on the hundreds who turn down your invitation and forget the one who accepted. Pastors fight that discouragement too. Here’s the thing – Even Jesus had this issue. I think about the 10 lepers in Luke 17. All 10 were healed of their disease. Here was the problem – Only 1 came back to thank Jesus! All 10 received the healing, but only 1 returned to thank Him.
Today, I choose to celebrate the one who showed up. A man I barely know blessed this pastor today, and I’m extremely grateful. Don’t take “the one who showed up” for granted!