Lately I’ve been thinking of an old chorus we used to sing 30 years ago in our church in Columbus, Ohio:
“Here I am, wholly available. As for me, I will serve the Lord.”
That was pretty much the entire song. But we sang it over and over, with great gusto.
The song got so much traction back then because it accurately expressed our hearts toward God. Back then most of us really were “wholly available.” Many of us were single or recently married. Either we had no kids, or else our kids could be easily transported from meeting to meeting in a basinet or stroller.
Our time commitments and financial encumbrances were few back then.
I remember the time our church had a guest Bible teacher come for two nights of meetings—on a Monday and Tuesday night. Everyone was there. We were hungry for God, and no one wanted to miss out on what was happening.
If your church today had a guest preacher on a Monday and Tuesday night, what percentage of the congregation would come?
Things have changed, it seems.
Our church in Columbus changed too, especially as we all got older. Eventually nearly all of us were married, and the financial commitments had grown considerably. We had 30-year mortgage payments to make, not to mention car payments and credit card debt. Soon we all had multiple kids, complete with even more financial responsibilities and all the normal activities of childhood.
Life was a lot more complicated and cluttered by then. And we quit singing the “wholly available” song, because it no longer reflected our current situation.
A decade after the Bible teacher had preached to a packed house on Monday and Tuesday nights, we hosted an international preacher who had a highly acclaimed healing ministry. Overseas his crusades often drew crowds of 50,000 or more, and we were hopeful for a big crowd during this special midweek meeting.
However, people weren’t as available or as hungry as before. Only about 30 people showed up to hear this man of God who was used to preaching to thousands. The response was embarrassing, but it showed us that times had changes.
I’m now an empty-nest Baby Boomer, contemplating how to become wholly available to the Lord once again. Hope is rising in my heart, and I may even start singing that old chorus once again.