I always laugh when I hear this story. He became known as Lawn Chair Larry. Sitting around doing nothing, he wanted some adventure. What he did was almost unbelievable.
Before I tell Larry’s crazy story, let me remind you that God does expect his children to be busy and serve others. Someone said you can’t spell gospel without the word “go.” But there are times when God says to be still.
Larry Walter was a bored truck driver so he tied 42 helium filled balloons to a lawn chair and lifted off. He planned to drift lazily over the neighborhood. However, after a few minutes, he was spotted by an airline pilot at 16,000 feet. “There is some guy in a lawn chair floating around the sky.”
To control his descent, he had armed himself with a pellet gun to shoot out a few balloons. It did not go as planned, especially around electrical lines. But after 45 minutes and flying over restricted air space, he landed. He was arrested, but his crazy stunt also landed him on “The Tonight Show.” When asked why, he frequently responded, “I couldn’t just sit there.”
Christians are certainly to be busy serving. I’m not asking you to become a spiritual Lawn Chair Larry. Don’t follow some bizarre impulse just to say you are doing something spectacular for God. There are a lot of routine things that God blesses. (Think—cup of water, feed the hungry, visit the sick, teach a child in Sunday School) These won’t get you on late night TV, but God remembers.
At times, however, it is best to just sit there. “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) God often speaks the clearest when we are the quietest. (Think Elijah: earth-quake, wind, fire). Elijah heard God in a small quiet voice.
Things get very busy at Eastmont and it seems to never let up. I’m proud to be pastor of people who are servants. It can get expensive, exhausting and inconvenient. Ships are pretty safe and peaceful in a harbor. It gets risky in open seas. But ships were not made for the harbor. They were made to carry people and cargo. A ship may be safe from storms in a harbor, but it is not safe from dry rot or rust. And neither is a church or you.
Rest and service are both needed. We don’t always get the balance right at Eastmont, but God is blessing this church. By the way, prayer is both work and rest. It refreshes your soul, and it’s the most powerful work you can do.
I can’t say enough good about last weekend’s Home Improvement. It was the best ever! Parabalooza (what a name) is this Sunday at 10:30 worship. In the early (8:10) service will be another one of my amazing sermons (smile). I will preach at 8:10 and I will also listen at 10:30. Why not join me in both worship services? Or is that getting crazy like Lawn Char Larry?