Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Let The Lower Lights Be Burning"1 (Lyrics)
Romans 10:14b-15a – And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? (NRSVA)
I was assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 860 in the Shawondassee District, Virginia, USA, from 1996-2002. Those were probably six of the best years of my life and definitely the best job that I ever had. My son was an enthusiastic Scout and responsible for my getting involved. Scouting provided the vehicle for us to grow close as a father and son at a time when most parents and their children grow apart. It definitely made my son the fine young man that he is.
I was also a part of the Shawondassee District Training Staff, which held excellent monthly roundtable sessions. I was tapped to teach the Finance in Scouting segment of the Scoutmaster Fundamentals Course — not one of the most inspiring segments of the program. Since Scouting has traditionally been a faith-based organization and there was no specific place in the curriculum to talk about Religion in Scouting, I decided that this was the perfect place to "steal ten minutes for the Lord", as I described it, and talk about the importance of regularly holding the appropriate religious services during campouts and other occasions. For many Scouts, this would be their first and perhaps only exposure to God's Word. The talk was received with a respectful silence and a slight puzzlement by some, since it was not part of the announced programs. Over the years, as I repeated the talk and it became a part of the program, I couldn't help but wondering just what impact, if any, I was having.
Oh, me, of little faith. A couple of years after the first talk, I was stopped by another Scoutmaster at summer camp, who, after introducing himself, asked if I was the instructor who had talked about Religion in Scouting at his training course. After saying that I was, he proceeded to thank me for "stealing ten minutes for the Lord". Those stolen minutes had inspired him to make sure that his troop did hold services during its campouts. He also mentioned that the Spirit had filtered down to his Scouts, since they called him out for his failure to hold services on one campout.
In this increasingly secular age, so hostile to Christianity, it is important that we not only keep the faith but have the courage to proclaim it when the opportunity arises and the Spirit speaks to us. There is fertile soil out there waiting to receive the seeds of faith — all that is needed is the sowers!
Prayer: Gracious Lord, give us the courage to obey the great commission and proclaim Your Word when the Spirit calls us. Amen.