"Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul."
Have you ever sought someone out, I mean really had a good look for them. In this story there are a number of examples of being sought out.
First the believers are chased after Stephens death. They are sought everywhere and have to travel very far to escape certain death.
In being on the run you would think that would be enough for the believers but instead they seek people to share the Gospel with. In doing this they begin to the share the gospel with everyone not just the Jews.
Then Barnabas seeks out Saul. He doesn't need to seek out Saul the Holy Spirit is with Barnabas and his ministry is going well. He is baptizing people, preaching with the word and basically he is a successful minister. But yet still he stops and takes the time to seek out someone else who really needs his help.
Saul was in a bit of a rough place. He had converted to a religion in which all the people were scared that he was going to kill them. It's a bit of a rock and hard place scenario, you want to be with everyone but they think you are only tricking them. We aren't told why Barnabas goes looking for Saul at this point but we do know that it is exactly what Saul needs. It gives him the credibility with the believers that his conversion is real. As for Barnabas I am sure that he got a great sense of satisfaction out of working with Saul who needed his support.
This story got me to thinking about my own work and life. Do I seek out those that would need my help and support? Do I seek out gifted people who might be rejected by the mainstream and spend the time to encourage and lift them up?
I think it's very easy for us to say we were busy but do you wonder what that really means. Sometimes our being too busy is an excuse not to engage with those around us. I recognize that there are pressures from work, families, friends etc but being busy has nothing to do with them it really is a choice we make ourselves.
For a number of years I worked as a teacher in secondary schools and colleges. Teaching is a profession where there is not enough hours in the day to do the volume of work you have. Your work comes home with you, it's there on weekends, evenings, mornings. It's early starts and late nights and missing important things. But I remember when I was teaching my first manager said don't make the mistake so many teachers do and allow teaching to take over your life. It was something I took to heart and when I became a manage I encouraged my workers in the same way, to the point that when I left everyone I worked with said I bought the fun into the office. Something that to this day I think is a good thing and my now friends from that office say they still take on board.
So what is the point I am making? Well I guess after reading that text I am now considering that no matter how good I am at my job in Gods eyes I can always be better by training someone else. Not only that but in seeking out the outcast, or the unpopular or whoever and taking the time to invest in their talents. We don't here much else about Barnabas but we hear an awful lot about Saul. Who will be your Saul? I am going got open my eyes and look for mine today, will you?