It was the summer of 2006. I was with some friends at Wakulla Springs in Tallahassee, FL when I began to feel what I would call “holy heartburn” in my chest. The word of God was in my heart. It was ready to explode out of my mouth to the point where I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I assume this was similar to what Jeremiah the prophet felt after he was called by God to speak His word to the Israelites. The social pressure to not speak was immense. When he tried to hold it in he just couldn’t, and he said
“ But if I say, “I will not remember Him
Or speak anymore in His name,”
Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
And I am weary of holding it in,
And I cannot endure it.”
I Ended Up In The Men’s Restroom.
This is what I felt. I just had to get the word of God out to someone! I began to walk around the shore of the spring water looking for someone to speak with. Everyone was preoccupied with the cold water, or they were interacting with their friends and family. This “holy heartburn” needed a release! While still looking for someone to speak with about the Gospel, I made my way into the men’s public restroom. I don’t remember if it was to share the gospel, use the restroom, or both!
I Awkwardly Blurted Out My Question To An Old Man.
I then saw an old gentleman with glasses coming out of one of stalls. He was just pulled up his pants and tightening his belt. At this point my “holy heartburn” was unbearable. The heat of the word was about to combust inside of me! I awkwardly blurted out to the man, “excuse me sir, are you going to heaven?” With a surprised look he responded with “yeah, aren’t you?!” Smiling, I said “yes” while nodding. The man seemed more surprised that I might not be going to heaven than the fact that he was just accosted by a stranger in a public bathroom. The man then washed his hands and went on his way.
Be Ready Even At The Wrong Time.
This encounter brings a whole new literal meaning to the Bible verse in 2 Timothy 4:2 which says,
“preach the word; be ready in season and out of season…”
This means to be ready with the word of God and the gospel at all times! However, this occasion was not only out of season, but it was also out of place! This may have been an improper thing to say to someone in a restroom, but it reinforces the idea that we should always be ready with the gospel of Jesus on our lips no matter where we are. It’s better to be ready at the “wrong time” than it is to be unready at the “right time”.
Are you ready?