By Dr. John E. Morgan
Pastor–Collinsville Baptist Church
Dennis and I made a mistake. In our defense, we were probably confused by the Pluto Water.
It was 1974. I was in seminary in Louisville and was serving as a Youth Minister in Indiana. Dennis was my main youth leader. We worked really well together and became good friends.
In January, the church offered to pay for us to go to a conference for church workers. There would be sessions for youth workers. We gladly accepted the opportunity.
The conference was being held at a Sheraton in West Baden about a hundred miles away. It would last three days and two nights. The hotel was amazing. It was built in the 1800’s as a health resort. West Baden has hot springs that flow with hot sulfur water. Because they came from underground, the developers called the water Pluto Water (get it – underground, Greek mythology).The waters were thought to bring healing, so the spa became a destination for people seeking health or treatment.
Dennis and I checked into the huge old hotel and went to conferences. They were helpful. Between meetings, we made use of the hotel’s facilities like the gym. We both love basketball. There was also a fairly new heated pool under a geodesic dome. It was January in Indiana. Snow on the ground. We did lots of swimming.
The last night we decided we would leave the grounds. We walked into the small town where we had two choices. There was a high school basketball game at the local school. And there was a movie theatre. We loved basketball. But we felt a need for a different kind of break. We opted for the movie. I do not remember what it was. I remember it was entertaining. After the movie, we made our way through the snow and icy spots back to our room. It had been a great couple of days. We went to meetings the next day and then made our way back home. Only much later did we learn our mistake.
Did you catch the mistake? Let me help you. West Baden is right next to another small town. Named French Lick. And in 1974, the local team had a senior who was pretty good. His name was Larry Bird. Dennis and I could have watched Larry Bird play basketball as a high school senior. Instead we went to a forgettable and forgotten movie. We had no clue. But I think often about that choice. Movie. High school basketball game. Oops. Larry Bird. Still hurts.
Missed opportunities can do that. This one was not one we knew about for years. After all, we chose a movie. We did not knowingly reject Larry Bird. So we can live with that. Some missed opportunities are much harder to deal with missing.
What if I had never asked Gloria out on a date? Pretty awful to think about. What if I had asked and she had turned me down because she had something else? Would I have had the courage to ask her again? Male ego and all? Scary thoughts.
But I did ask. And she did say yes.
I watch people turn down great opportunities all the time. Right in front of them and they ignore their chances. On Sunday morning. When they don’t make things right with God. The hardest step you will ever take is the first step going down the aisle of your local church. The second step is easy.
The thing about some great opportunities is you never know when it is your last chance. And you have to put up with Pluto Water forever. If you can find any. Don’t wait. Say yes to God.