We’re finally there, well at least as far as this life, we have arrived! We began remodeling the old Tony’s Steakhouse building on November 4th and moved the broadcast equipment on February 10th. It feels good to be home. It really didn’t seem to take that long. We had such good times with those people who volunteered their labor to make it possible. I suppose I’ll miss that the most. It was just good old-fashioned fun working with one another. Volunteers donated a lot of time and we will always be grateful for such a show of generosity on their part. Thinking back over the past three months and how fast it seemed, I was reminded of that simple ingredient in our lives: time.
I’m a ’24’ fan. I had never seen the program until last year. It had been on television for five years before I decided to try it. Mike Middleton had talked to me about it during one of our past Celebrations, but I just couldn’t get into a serial program. It’s a story that seems to never end. It’s much like the radio programs from the 1940’s: leaves you with a cliffhanger every week. Because there are two or three storylines all taking place at the same time, the intensity is just unrelenting. Jack Bauer is the lead character. This guy is superman without the “S” on his chest. He can do it all. He’s even figured out how the use a cell phone, something I’m still trying to master. Anyway, Jack goes from crisis to crisis each program and amazingly, those crises all happen in one hour’s time. That’s the hook for the year. Each episode represents one hour in one day. Each day represents one full television season. So what you have is all kinds of things taking place in each hour of the program, and each year we look into only one day in the life of Jack Bauer. He is a busy man.
I remember when I was a young boy my father used to watch professional wrestling. He would sit on the couch, what we call a divan back then, and he would twist on the edge of that divan, wrench his shoulders, make faces, muscles tense, jump up with disappointment if the good guy was getting cheated or whipped. I kept telling him, “Dad, it’s fake. They are really not beating each other senseless, they are throwing punches that have bee written and telegraphed days before the fight.” No matter, he still wore the couch thin and enjoyed every minute of the fight.
Well, there I was wrenching around on the edge of my recliner, biting my nails, silly stuff. I knew perfectly well it was all scripted and Jack was going to survive because they need him for next week’s episode so that I would come back for more. What is interesting for me about that program is the concept of time and how I spent all season long watching what, in effect, is one day in the life of Jack Bauer.
I’ve had a tendency to describe the Christian life as though it was a book. Each day is a new page to be read. Each day is unique and has it’s own script. No day is the same as the day before. Yesterday’s page has been turned and what will happen tomorrow can’t be discovered until midnight tonight. In the everlasting Christian life, our day does not end when we sleep but continues until the time we step over into the other side of this experience. And while each day is revealed one page at a time, the whole makes up thousands of pages of the book. Looking at any one page can give you a simple photograph of that day. One page will not tell you much about the whole of the book. Our 24-hour days are earthy, not heavenly. They are good for counting time and the seasons but not good for defining our lives. They blur our lives. They don’t give an accurate picture. Only reading the whole book can do that.
We could look at the page where Christ was crucified and be pretty discouraged about the leader of our Faith. But if you read the whole book the end, it is a much better story than that one page. Our lives are like that. Some days, taken individually, can be greatly disappointing. But that novel is not finished in just that one page. We should keep a hope that on the next page things will change. Scripture says that a thousand years is as one day with God. The Father’s time is lengthy and doesn’t have the limitation of a clock. Being eternal, we don’t really live in time. This experience is a millisecond; it’s one page of a novel of 29,000 pages. We can, through patience and practice, take no thought for the next page, and we can forget the past page and go on.
I’ve described the relocation of the studios as “a daunting task.” Taking a March 2006 page out of the book would have caused us to be discouraged, or at least concerned, about how we could accomplish such a huge task. There were many things required of us that we simply did not have: the ability, experience, skills or equipment. Now we have read 313 pages later and find out that God has provided all those things to us in order to finish that impossible task. In those 313 days since last March, the expertise, time, tools, and materials came to us – rescued us. Over the past 10 months, we have seen so much happen that we could not have imagined in our own minds. Some of it was like pulling teeth, but most of it was so much a pleasure. Even in Faith we were still surprised at what God had in store for us. Until this page was revealed, we could not have defined what was happening in the life of this ministry
There have been moments and times in the history of WBVN where we can see turning points and specific interventions by God in the life of this ministry. People and things that have come along just at the right time to meet serious needs of this ministry. We have not seen that on every page but on many pages. Some pages are daunting, but we just wait on the next page to reveal our life’s full story. And while it’s easy to say, “Trust in God,” and difficult to live it, we have so many testimonies of God meeting the needs of this radio ministry one page at a time. Sometimes we have not known what to pray for but just stayed in trust. Sometimes I feel guilty for describing the Christian life this way, but this is the way it happens to us. So we encourage people daily to believe God is in their lives. Pray for what we know to pray for and rely on the Love and Wisdom of God to fill in the gap what we do not know. You may not know where, you may not know when, but He is in the middle of all that we do. Sometimes trusting in Him is all we can do and all we need to do.