For twenty years I did computer support in corporate America. I was privileged to work at some of the best companies in the world. I was getting paid to do what I loved. Not only that, I can think of dozens of opportunities I had to experience insanely fun things. Early in my career I was working a trade show—which in themselves were always a blast to work at—when Bill Gates walked by me. He was surrounded by brick walls in suits as he made his way across the trade show floor. That was the early 1990s, a wild time in the history of the industry; it was exciting just to see him. Looking back, I can’t even begin to add up how many delicious steak dinners and fancy hotels I enjoyed—all on the company’s dime.
The greatest memory was from my days at Coca-Cola. A corporate partner invited some of us to spend a day at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. The highlight was getting strapped into a #2 replica NASCAR stock car for a spin around the track. To call it a “car” is an injustice. It was a beast of a machine and I got to drive it eight laps around the mile-and-a-half oval at speeds averaging 150mph!
Do you ever have moments when you can’t help but thank God for the good life He has given you? I hope you do. They don’t have to be as spectacular as driving a race car. In fact, as I look at my To-Do list today the memories of those corporate years pale in comparison.
It’s a busy time in the semester at seminary. I have no classes on Mondays, however I do have plenty to keep me busy as I write this today. Here is part of my coursework To Do list for the day:
_ Meditate and journal on Psalm 145 and Isaiah 40 for my Systematic Theology class
_ Finish reading an overview of the Gospel of Luke
_ Read Luke again for my New Testament I (Gospels) class
_ Do an in-depth study (min. 2-3 hours & 4 pages) on Luke 5:1-11
_ Begin another in-depth study assignment on Luke 19:28-40
_ Continue assigned readings in Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
Here’s why I mention all this: What a privilege it is for me to be in seminary. I get to spend my day pouring over God’s Word and learning more about the God who created me and saved me. (Incidentally, I also am indebted to every church and individual who has given financially to the SBC’s Cooperative Program. I receive a generous tuition discount as a member of an SBC church and do receive a small bit of financial aid on top of that–so thank you!)
As I meditated on Psalm 145 this morning I wrote in my notebook that verse 5 was particularly appropriate:
“On the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works, I will meditate.”
But, see, it’s not just my privilege. You have a similar privilege. If you are reading this that means that at the bare minimum you are literate and you have internet access. That means that if you don’t have a copy at home, you can easily search for the Bible online and read it yourself. Hopefully, though, you do have your own copy at home and you start everyday with it.
I can recall a time as a teenager when a pastor said, “Reading the Bible and spending time with God is a ‘Get to’ not a ‘Got to.’” You and I have the great privilege of opening the only Book on earth that the only true and living God has personally given to us that tells us about Himself. There are nearly 300 million people right now who don’t have God’s Word in their language—but you do. There are millions who would have it even though it is illegal for them to have it—but it is not illegal for you. Psalm 145:17 says that God is kind in all His works. If I can say so, has He not been extra-special kind then to you and to me to give us His Word?
Imagine the blessing of being able to look back on your life and, more than any perks of any job, you can recall decade after decade of discovering God’s truths for yourself by reading His Word. Sure I got to see a billionaire celebrity pass by me, but what is that story compared to the Gospel? Your story is that you can tell your children and grandchildren that every day you didn’t just see God pass by but rather He has been a lifelong friend to you.
Are you enjoying your God-given Get To Do list?