I read in Matthew 15 this morning about a time when Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee.  From there He went up and sat on the mountain.  Not surprisingly, great crowds surrounded Jesus.  There was a time when He was a Best Kept Secret, but no one was able to keep Jesus a secret.  Among the gossiping masses following Jesus that day were many in need of physical healing.

Jesus was moved with compassion leading Him to perform His typical (although supernatural) razzle-dazzle.  A spoken word, a touch, maybe spitting in the dirt to make a muddy healing ointment – then Whamo! Instantly cured.  Pretty incredible.

In roughly 10 weeks – Lord willing – I will walk beside the Sea of Galilee.  This will be my first trip to the Holy Land, and I get to make the journey with about 30 friends from my church.  I can hardly wait!

So, like I said, I anticipate walking beside the Sea of Galilee, just like Jesus.  Afterwards maybe I will even make a trip up the same mountain.  But this is where the similarities end between Jesus and Gary.  Instead of a large crowd of people following me, I hope that at least my wife chooses to walk beside me.  If she is hampered by, say, a cold or a headache or a leg cramp causing some sort of physical affliction, I will pray for her.  I will even reach out and touch her, and speak to her.  For reasons different than Jesus, I will likely even spit.

But don’t expect miracles.  No huge crowds.  No razzle-dazzle.  I suppose that’s one reason why you see so few What-Would-Gary-Do bracelets.

The problem with “Best Kept Secrets” is that they don’t stay secret.  I’m sitting at Buddy Brew Coffee Shop this morning, and it is slammed with people.  Standing room only.  There is a 3:1 ratio of butts to chairs.  I max the volume of the music pumping through my iPod and in-ear speakers, yet I can still hear the upbeat buzz of patrons.  I parked more than a block away, but this Columbian brew in particular is worth the walk, the noise, and the crowd.

One of my twisted little joys here at Buddy Brew is watching dozens of people pull on the front door to gain entrance, and then keep pulling harder and harder until they figure out that the door opens in, requiring a push rather than a pull.  I hope Dave and Susan never put a “Push” sign on the outside of the door.  If the customer-to-be can’t figure out how to work the door then they likely have problems that mere caffeine cannot remedy.

I’m all for making things convenient for the customer, but a little work won’t hurt ‘em.

This is about to be a large and possibly strange leap from my “push/pull” thoughts, but I see a similarity between the front door to Buddy Brew and the scene I was reading earlier in Matthew.

One thing that struck me in the actions and decisions made by Jesus that day was the location of the healings He performed.  He healed blind and crippled people on a mountain.  Wouldn’t it have been much more convenient for the crippled invalid or the stumbling blind to remain on the level terrain by the Sea of Galilee???

For some reason – baffling to me – Jesus did not make things easy for them.  He didn’t post a “Push” sign when He saw them pulling.  I wonder if Jesus figured that if they weren’t willing to climb a mountain then maybe it wasn’t really Jesus they were craving after all.

Best kept secrets are always worth the extra effort.