“Send out your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will get it back” (Ecclesiastes 11:1)

A couple of years ago, a national Presbyterian magazine published some of my thoughts on how to start a campus ministry (http://www.pcusa.org/ideas/06fall/letssuppose.htm). When I told my dad about it, he wrote: “I’m sure it will go far in the PC(USA).” He meant “have a great deal of influence,” and in that regard, unfortunately, he turned out to be incorrect.

But the article did go “far” from Starkville in another way. It ended up motivating a PC(USA) pastor in Delaware to seek me out by phone earlier this week. She and a number of others are trying to start a ministry at the campus down the street from her church. Her call was a total surprise. I had no idea anyone would even read my piece, much less take time to track me down for further consultation.

Something I had filed away and nearly forgotten now has new life. We simply never know how our efforts will be used in God’s providence, the fruit they will bear for good someplace we’ve never been, among people we’ve never met. The results may be immediate or seen in a relatively short time, like a couple of years. Or that “bread” may float along on the streams of time or swirl in the eddies of cyberspace for quite awhile before we see it again and hear that someone far away was nourished by it.

Do good, then, even if you think your efforts won’t make any difference. Put your ideas out there. And don’t lose hope of their “going far.” God is always full of surprises.

© 2008 by Tom Cheatham