“Thanks for the reminder about perspective yesterday,” I said. “Obedience includes both making and surrendering plans. Making my list and accepting the value of not accomplishing it immediately.”
Paul lifted his coffee cup in acknowledgment.
“But then, you were well experienced in living in the long-term. Fourteen years of uncertainty is a really long time.”
“I’m not sure I understand,” Paul said.
“You talked about going to Jerusalem and being uncertain about the work you had been doing for fourteen years.”
“You’ve read the letter I wrote?” Paul said. “Because there was no uncertainty about my work. I was doing exactly what God had assigned me. And there was no uncertainty about my trip. I was going exactly where God had invited me.”
“But you wrote that you walked through the work you had done and the way you had taught the Gospel to the gentiles, ‘in order to make sure I was not running or had not run in vain.’”
Paul laughed. “I wasn’t worried that I was doing something wrong. I didn’t want some foolishness about adding another layer of regulations to undermine everything I had done. All my work had included explaining that people born outside the Jewish faith didn’t have to become Jews to follow Jesus. The people in Galatia, as in other places, had been overjoyed that they had freedom in what Jesus had done.”
“So you weren’t scared that Peter and James and the rest of the leaders would scold you?”
“Scold me?” Paul said. “Scold a person directly commissioned by Jesus just as much as they were? Scold a person who had been sent here and there by the Holy Spirit? Scold a person who had been rescued from blindness specifically to call people to sight?”
Paul suddenly realized that he was standing. And that the dog was cowering under my desk. And that he was still holding a coffee cup.
He set it carefully on my desk. He laughed. A little.
“Remind me sometime to tell you about the time that I scolded Peter.”
“I think it can wait until next week,” I said carefully.