Decades before cell phones, and GPS for driving directions…
Working for a commercial pick up service had its challenges…It was a hot summer day (102 degrees) in late July when I abruptly stopped. In my haste to get through the heat of the day (the truck did not have air conditioning) I almost missed the address for my pick up. It was a nice neighborhood with well manicured lawns. Each house was uniquely different with bushes that were precisely trimmed. It was almost as if there was a neighborhood competition for the most beautiful and unique landscape.
As I was walking back to my truck, a neighbor waved me over. I waved back indicating I would be right there after I placed the items I just picked up in my truck.
It was obvious he was in the middle of a re-landscape project; which included some new concrete work. He had the wooden boarders all in place and the gravel was laid, compacted and leveled. He was in the process of mixing the cement, sand, gravel and water in a large wheel barrel.
He started speaking to me in some very broken English with a strong European accent. There was some information he wanted but I could not quite understand what it was he needed. He kept pointing the concrete mixture in the wheel barrel and with various hand jesters to the prepared area….then walking on the gravel making more jesters to indicate his question or concern.
Finally I thought I understood what it was he was trying to communicate. He wanted to know how long after he poured the concrete could he walk on it. As a kid I spent several summers mixing concrete for my dad. He was building a concrete block retaining wall (over 100 feet long) and a patio. So I was well versed about mixing wheelbarrow loads of concrete.
Pointing to my watch and with a few hand jesters of my own, to informed him (since it was 100+ degrees out) four hours and he could cautiously walk on the concrete. He smiled appreciatively; as I left notice he was sitting in the shade of a nearby tree. Thought nothing of it until….
About four hours later as I made my last pickup for the day….suddenly I realized he was not asking how long before the concrete was safe to gently walk on; but how long should he leave the concrete in the wheelbarrow before he poured it on to the gravel…oops…and I told him four hours. By then it would be one hard concrete block that was dried in the wheelbarrow. It was no wonder he went to sit under the shade of the tree when I left him.
Since almost 55 years has now passed… he has probably told his grand children and great grandchildren the story about the crazy truck driver that convinced him to leave the concrete in the wheelbarrow for four hours before he tried to pour it….
Sometimes the best of intentions are not good enough…when we step into eternity God will not be concerned about our good intentions or deeds…the only question He will have is “What have you done with My Son?” Without His Son in the life of any individual, that person while alive physically, is spiritually dead. Only the Son can give you His life. As in all the challenges and obstacles of life, choose wisely, not only what you ask but whom you ask as well…the wrong answer, no matter how well intentioned just might be devastating; not only for now but for eternity as well.