Tuesday, April 10, 2012

It's what we all are looking for. The answer! Or so we think.

Ray Stedman was an excellent preacher and writer. He drew large crowds to hear him where he faithfully preached for many years in Palo Alto, California.

Standing in the church foyer of "his" church building one day I saw a large wooden rack on the wall filled with copies of his sermons. This was in the day before sermons were taped and sold for a nominal fee or given away free.

So I started having my sermons, which were already being recorded, transcribed and printed for distribution. 

At first they, like the old saying goes, "went like hot cakes." By Monday or Tuesday the secretary had them in the rack in the foyer and by the weekend they were all gone.

After awhile I noticed that more and more copies were being left over and after a backlog of about a month's sermons, I would remove them from the rack and toss them. Now, this was difficult for me to do. After all, these were my "babies." People needed to "hear" these messages.

But since they weren't taking them I asked my secretary to stop printing them for awhile.

At an elders' meeting I said, "Helen works awfully hard transcribing, printing and getting those messages ready for distribution. Since the members and visitors aren't taking them like they once did I have asked her to stop printing them. I wonder if I should have her start again or just forget it?"

Nobody said anything for awhile and then one elder asked, "How many people have come to you asking for them since you stopped printing them every week?" I thought for just a minute and replied, "Well nobody has asked me."

"Well then, there's your answer."

I almost wished I hadn't asked the question.

It wasn't the answer I wanted to hear but it's what I needed to hear.

It told me a lot about myself and about people in general. I think it's something we all need to find out about ourselves and about others.

I'll let you try to figure out what I found out---if you care to do so.

You may have a question of your own you want answered---or maybe not!