by Joey Davis
"You never mentioned Him to me; you heard me not the light to see; you met me day by day and knew I was astray, yet never mentioned Him to me. "
Song by James Rowe (1939)
As over 60 heads were bowed in reverence, the Innkeeper prayed. It was more than just a dinnertime prayer. He prayed for things that I take for granted...thanksgiving for friends, the joy of belly-laughs and snickers, the beauty of sunsets and the invigoration of a cool September day. His voice was kind and inviting, and when the final amen rang out, most of those dining with him seemed sure that he had been part of a long relationship with a higher power.
But, which higher power? Budha? Mohammed? Baal? David Koresh? Who? You see, the Innkeeper never began his prayers by addressing the higher power. There was no, "Dear Heavenly Father"..."Our God who art in Heaven"..."Oh Loving King." Nothing! He simply asked folks to bow their heads and he began speaking to somebody:
Was he heard? At the risk of sounding legalistic, from my examination of scripture, I strongly doubt it. Yet, the question that nags me most is why would he do such a thing? I feel the most convincing reason he prayed as he did was that he wanted to please everybody and offend nobody. In the crowd of over sixty people, there were very few who subscribed to his particular brand of religion. As a matter of fact, the majority of people staying at this little bed and breakfast were there for a Baptist convention. He wanted to be unoffensive, and that's not usually bad, unless you're selling out God in the process.
Upon pondering the actions of the Innkeeper, I have convicted myself more than him. You see, there have been times that I avoided using His name in order to be socially acceptable and non-confrontational. It's easy to fall into the trap. Will there be people who fail judgement because I never mentioned Him to them? Possibly. Are there those who saw my lifestyle but never heard me utter His name? Maybe. You see, although our relationship with Him must be personal, it cannot always be private. You may offend some by your faith. (The Apostle Paul didn't?) No matter, you must be courageous enough to honor God.
A great American president once said, "...the future belongs not to the fainthearted; but the brave." If your future includes eternity, this statement applies to you as well. Mention Him! You may be surprised at the outcome. After all, isn't He worth it?
September 10, 1995
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