Outside the park, Quepos, the nearby town boasts a staggering number of restaurants and bars... for Costa Rica. Most are English-speaking and cater to tourists. Some fall into the category of fine dining, many try.
We love a little open air joint called Sancho's, that's five steps down from the nearest bus stop. You'll breathe in exhaust occasionally, hot air will blow across your feet, but still, you need to move away from some of the more exquisite offerings and come here. (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sanchos/134084109968462).
At Sancho's, Sam, a transplant from Florida, the son of a Jamaican father and Costa Rican mother, magically creates the best fish tacos we've ever eaten. We find ourselves returning to Sancho's again and again and enjoying the company and the cuisine.
So do many Americans and Canadians. Last night, we met a couple from Chicago, and a gentlemen from British Columbia who was entertaining an ex-pat woman, who had apparently discovered and ingested most of a bottle of rum.
Like you, with our children, we're just a little bit protective of their ears, but only once or twice did her language ever border on the salty. We said hello to her friend from BC, and he came to our table promptly. We had a lengthy conversation with him and found out about his two month adventure and the places he had been.
During the course of the conversation, he said this.
"I participated in a turtle release today. It was very emotional, I had tears in my eyes. It was like a religious experience."
"Most North Americans here, they're kind of just floating. Not concerned with the future, just living in the present. Kind of lost. You know what I mean?"
We enthusiastically agreed that his trip had been wonderful, and wished him the best, and he went back to his table to entertain the Lady of Ronrico. We finished up and left.
After the kids had gone to bed, Vickie and I sat on the deck, stared out at the stars, the crescent moon, and the Pacific Ocean, and here's what she said, "When he talked about the turtles, I thought about telling him about how wonderful God's creation was and starting a conversation."
Yeah. I thought about the same thing.
You see, in all honesty, as a Christian man, I'm more at ease with placing my life in the hands of a few Costa Ricans, ziplining two hundred feet above the rainforest, than I am with talking about my Savior to a stranger.
Would you say that last night was the perfect opportunity? Would you say that this Canadian's conversation was a divinely inspired moment that I let slip away? I would.
Would you have similar excuses? It's a public place, I need to keep an eye on the kids, it's too crowded?
You see, the Lord counts on us to bring others to Him. It's an unusual choice by any accounting, as people like me are in the category of those who are directed to share what's most important to us.
It was presented to me like a 50 mph fastball in a batting cage. And I whiffed.
I'm going to do everything I can to never let another moment like that slip by. The stakes are too high.
Because I never want to feel the tears of heaven on my cheek .
Lord, give me the passion and the power to be an effective witness to your love. To step out when you present opportunities to me. To be a small part in enlarging your kingdom. Amen.