Joe was a drunk who was miraculously changed at a Bowery mission. Prior to this, he had gained the reputation of being a dirty wino for whom there was no hope, only a miserable existence in the ghetto.
But following his conversion to a new life with God, everything changed. Joe became the most caring person that anyone associated with the mission had ever known. Joe spent his days and nights hanging out at the mission, doing whatever needed to be done. There was never anything that he was asked to do that he considered beneath him. Whether it was cleaning up the vomit left by some violently sick alcoholic or scrubbing toilets after careless men left the men’s room filthy, Joe did what was asked with a smile on his face and seemed grateful for the chance to help. He could be counted on to feed feeble men who wandered off the street and into the mission, and to tuck men into bed who were too out of it to take care of themselves.
One evening, when the director of the mission was delivering his evening talk to the usual crowd of still and sullen men with drooped heads, there was one man who looked up, came down the aisle to the altar, and knelt to pray, crying out for God to help him to change. The repentant drunk kept shouting, “Oh God! Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe! Make me like Joe!”
The director of the mission leaned over and said to the man, “Son, I think it would be better if you prayed, ‘Make me like Jesus.’”
The man looked up at the director with a quizzical expression and asked, “Is he like Joe?”
By Tony Campolo
What if today was your last day living on this earth? What if you woke up this morning knowing that as a fact?
What would you be doing right now? What would you be spending your last moments on? Who would you be sure to see, or call, or forgive, or ask for forgiveness?
Every minute would be counted as precious, because you would know that you only had a limited number left. All those things you spend so much time worrying and fretting over would seem as non-events, completely superfluous.
One thing would be clear: each moment is a precious gift. Once it passes, it is gone forever.
Each moment is a precious gift. Whether you have only today, or 50 years to live. Every moment that passes is still a moment that will never come again.
How are you spending your days? How are you spending today? How can you make a lasting difference in your life and in the lives of others?