One of the devotions I read from is The One Year Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten where each day tells of an event that happened that day in Christian history. Today’s reading was a writing by Nathan Cole, a farmer and carpenter, that told of his journey to hear the legendary preacher, George Whitefield. Here is just a portion:
…one morning all on a Sudden, about 8 or 9 o’clock there came a messenger and said Mr. Whitefield preached at Hartford and Weathersfield yesterday and is to preach at Middletown this morning [October 23, 1740] at ten of the Clock. I was in my field at Work. I dropt my tool that I had in my hand and ran home and run through my house and bade my wife get ready…and run to my pasture for my horse with all my might fearing that I should be too late to hear him. I brought my horse home and soon mounted and took my wife up and went forward as fast as I thought the horse could bear, and when my horse began to be out of breath, I would get down and put my wife on the Saddle and bid her ride as fast as she could and not Stop or Slack for me except I bad her, and so I would run until I was much out of breath, and then mount my horse again, and so I did several times to favour my horse, we improved every moment to get along as if we were fleeing for our lives, all the while fearing we should be too late to hear the Sermon..
And when we came within about half a mile of the road that comes down from Hartford Weathersfield and Stepney to Middletown; on high land I saw before me a Cloud or fog rising. I first thought it came from the great river, but as I came nearer the Road, I heard a noise something like a low rumbling thunder and presently found it was the noise of horses feet coming down the road and this Cloud was a Cloud of dust made by the Horses feet. It arose some Rods (rod = 16.5 feet) into the air over the tops of the hills and trees and when I came within about 20 rods of the Road, I could see men and horses Sliping along in the Cloud like shadows, and as I drew nearer it seemed like a steady stream of horses and their riders, scarcely a horse more than his length behind another, all of a lather and foam with sweat, their breath rolling out of their nostrils in the cloud of dust every jump; every horse seemed to go with all his might to carry his rider to hear news from heaven for the saving of Souls…
Mr. Cole made it in time to hear Rev. Whitefield and according to him, “My hearing him preach gave me a heart wound.” I’m afraid to say that in my world of great preaching on a weekly – and even daily – basis I am not quick to throw my tool to the ground and mount my horse to get a heart wound. Oh, I make excuses…I am too busy. Too tired. Too whatever. But the truth is I am just spoiled.
Thank you, Lord, that I live in a nation that the Word can freely be taught. Thank you, Lord, that I live in a city where I have countless opportunities to hear – live – anointed preachers of God. Forgive me, Lord, that I have taken this all for granted. May I be quick to drop the things of this world (and my flesh) and ride hard after the things of God.
How about you? What are you riding hard after?