Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | April 18, 2012

Come At Once

Doha, Qatar

I have come to regard the fifteen-hour flight from Houston to Dubai as my somewhat-regular commute to work. Over the years I have enjoyed getting to know many of the folks who work for Emirates Airlines. On my latest Emirates flight to Doha via Dubai, I was upgraded to Business Class. Because there were so few of us in the front of the plane, I had the opportunity to have extended conversations with the flight attendants about our work around the world. One flight attendant told me that God has been speaking to her about being more involved in helping others. After hearing about our work with human trafficking victims and orphans and the poor, she asked if she could join us on a future trip. I told her that we would be delighted to have her. No matter where I go, I always meet good people like her who are interested in doing something to help the least of these.

I have also come to regard the long flight from Houston to Dubai as an opportunity to decompress a bit by getting away from my email and phone. On every trip I download books on my Kindle that I can read from cover to cover without interruption. I also look forward to watching a good movie or two since I don’t go to the movies very often at home. As I perused the movie list on this latest flight, I decided to watch “Sherlock Holmes — Game of Shadows.” I have been a big Sherlock Holmes fan since I was a kid. I especially love the old black and white made for television Sherlock Holmes episodes featuring Basil Rathbone as the intrepid and always-brilliant detective and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. So, I was curious about how Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law would interpret the roles of the famous crime-solving duo. I have to confess that I did enjoy the movie although I still prefer the old black and white episodes.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie came near the end when Holmes and Watson were in hot-pursuit of the evil Professor Moriarty. As they sat in the shadows, Holmes and Watson split up but agreed to meet at a specified location. When Watson returned, Holmes was nowhere to be found because he had already left to pursue Moriarty. Holmes did, however, leave instructions for Watson on a hand-written note. On one side of that note Holmes had written, “Come at once if convenient.” On the opposite side of the paper Holmes had added, “If inconvenient, come all the same.” Holmes anticipated that he would need Watson’s help no matter what. And, it was a good thing he left that note because Watson was able to give Holmes the timely help he needed.

I like the message that Holmes left for Watson. It reminded me of a similar message that the Apostle Paul received in a vision of a Macedonian man who was standing and appealing to him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9). Paul and his companions recognized the urgency of the message and departed for Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called them to preach the gospel there (Acts 16:10). They did not allow themselves to be swayed by whether this venture would be convenient or inconvenient, only by the fact that they needed to get to Macedonia quickly. We must have the same attitude when it comes to sharing and living out the gospel. We must do so when it is convenient and when it is inconvenient as well. Who is waiting for your help and will you go regardless of whether it is convenient or not?


  1. Welcome to Doha! Glad you arrived safely!

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