Paul says in today’s verse that he is ready. “Ready” is from the Greek compound word prothumos. Pro of course means “fore or before.” Thumos means “passion as if breathing hard, fierceness.” Therefore, “ready” means “a predetermined passion and desire.” We might say that Paul could hardly wait for an opportunity to preach the gospel to anyone and everyone!
When was the last time you became passionate about someone or something? When was the last time you could not wait to get up in the morning because of a burning desire to accomplish something that you were completely passionate about?
That eager anticipation describes Paul’s readiness to share the gospel. Paul could not wait to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with every person that he came in contact with. Paul was ready BEFORE he met that person. Paul never had to psyche himself up to talk to others about Jesus Christ. He had a predetermined passion to share the message of the cross.
Tom Baker, my high school soccer coach, worked out a rotation system when we played a game. He knew that if we were in shape, could keep the game close in the first half, rest along the way, that we would finish the game strong. He would rotate six players in and out every four minutes. None of us really liked his rotation system because we wanted to play. We wanted to be on the field. I always stayed close beside him thinking, “It’s my turn coach! Send me in coach!” That’s how Paul felt about preaching at Rome. He was praying, “Send me in, Lord!” May our prayer and desire be, “Send me in, Lord!”