While preparing to leave Panama this week, a couple of things struck me while negotiating the airport. As usual, after clearing security I headed for the men’s room. This is a recently remodeled facility. Millions of dollars were spent to provide a beautiful building with modern appurtenances. As I joined the march of men pulling roller bags and carrying briefcases, I noted that the urinals were in a corridor-like area. The space between the walls was about 4 feet. This means that when a man assumes the position before the ceramic shrine, there is barely a foot between him and the wall behind. Since the urinals are close together, the only place to leave a bag is on the floor directly to the rear, thus completely blocking the passage. Pressing departures, bulging bladders, and a Babel-like combination of languages made for an entertaining slapstick adventure – a group of men trying not to touch each other as they hop and push their way into position. The result was hilarious. Outside in the waiting area, I noticed that the sparkling new airport is already looking dingy. The upholstery in the lounges is torn and stained, and the carpets are filthy. Doors are not plumb, pictures are askew, and walls have holes where displays have been removed. In fact, millions of dollars later, the airport looks almost as junky as it did before the rebuild.
Two important ideas stick out. Success and excellence are closely tied to planning and maintenance. This is true I nevery area of life. Our lives as Christians require daily maintenance. I was saved in November of 1979. That is a wonderful thing. That ancient moment was real, but it will not give me victory in the affairs of life today. In fact, life tends to wear away at our spiritual condition. If we don’t repair and renew on a regular basis, we begin to get a little stained and ragged ourselves. I desperately need time alone with God and time in the Word to keep me fresh and growing. The sad truth is, however, that many of us just don’t seem to have time to take time. Like it or not, if you don’t plan for maintenance time with the Lord, you probably won’t get it. For me it means getting up early to pray and read. When I don’t, it shows. I like to tell myself, “Oh, I’ll pray on the way to the office and listen to Brother Hopealot on the radio.” But, even if I actually do it, it’s just not the same. I need my infusion from Heaven. It requires planning and execution to get it. I have to do maintenance on purpose.
Scripture Reading: The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. (Proverbs 13:4 NKJV)
Somebody Said By my definition, prayer is consciously hanging out with God. Being with God in a deliberate way. Malcolm Boyd
In the Panama airport men’s room, each urinal has a round hole in the tile right next to it. It appears to be the result of failing to get the right height the first time and having to lower every unit about 4 inches. Each hole is filled with wadded up newspaper and masking tape. I suppose you could call that maintenance, but it just looks sloppy, and I shudder think what else is finding its way into those holes. Our spiritual life deserves better than a wad of paper and some tape. If the God of all the universe wants to meet with me every day. I should make an appointment.