Over spring break, our youth group went to Slidell, Louisiana to work in the hurricane relief effort. Slidell is approximately thirty minutes away from New Orleans. They worked with a church in that area to clean up and restore the area after the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina (winds of 176 mph with wind gusts reaching 190 mph).
On the way back, they stopped at a McDonald's. You've been there. As you are finishing your meal, a bus or van pulls into the parking lot and lots of hungry teens get out, heading to the restrooms and the counter to order. At this particular McDonald's, some of our kids began talking with a woman. I have no idea what they said or what she said to them. All I know is that a few days later, our church office received this e-mail from her:
I recently had the opportunity to meet some of your students while on the road back home at McDonald's last week. I just wanted to say what a great group of kids they are and I am very proud of the heart and drive of your youth to help those in need.
She signed her name but I have no idea who she is. For whatever reason, she wrote this nice note. I read this in our assembly and people began to applaud. For a few seconds I sensed a quietness in our youth group (they all sit together on Sunday mornings at the front--right hand side. They've been doing this for a number of years). They seemed very clued into this note.
This reminds me that the ordinary moments really count for something. Far too often, we think that what counts are the Roman Candle moments. You know those moments in life that seem to have a lot of zip and bang:
- You are going on a mission trip
- You just hear a great message at a awesome conference
- You spent your morning serving the poor
- You just read a dynamite book from a world renown Christian author
- You had the most life-changing experience at this new church
- You just met a guy who seems to know the secrets to a "deeper" life with Christ
The above experiences may or may not be truly significant. I would not dare try to evaluate that. However, I do think it is safe to say that the ordinary moments of life in McDonald's or Home Depot may be very significant to a person who may be in your presence.
We might do well to not underestimate the way God uses those McDonald's moments.