There’s a book titled “Sharing Jesus without fear,” I got all fired up after reading it, my faith was high, and the challenge was set. I decided to head into Hurstville the next day and share my faith, hey no one knows me there, and if I embarrass myself, then at least I’ll be anonymous.
The morning had arrived, and my faith had waned, it was a deliberately slow trip into Hurstville. Oh drats – the car needed fuel, it was a welcome interruption! The petrol attendant had a necklace with a cross pendant, so I didn’t need much prodding to start a spiritual conversation, “Hey, I like your cross.”
“Yes, I like it too, my last one was too heavy.”
Mmm, that’s not what I was hoping for, so I press on, “Does it have any meaning for you?”
“Why yes, I pray and miracles happen, and I love Him….” She was on her soap box holding her microphone, and now she had an audience, awesome! My services not required here, I smile, pay the bill and move on.
The Food Court at the shopping centre was my target, besides I was hungry. Grabbing a Thai Beef salad, I find a place to sit – next to a lonely lady – and start a conversation. She reciprocates for a while, but then I take a dive into unknown waters.
“Can I ask you a personal question?”
“Well, that’s not right I don’t know you…”
“Actually I was interested in what you thought of spirituality?” My voice fading fast as each word fizzled out by her penetrating stare. She got up and hurried off aghast at my question, I was left feeling like a kid that had wet their pants in the middle of school assembly.
Oh the failure! I’d entered shark infested waters and they had chomped into my heart, how could I recover? You may be saying, ‘it’s sowing a seed… it made her think… God’s happy you had a crack…’ and that’s what I’d say too, but it didn’t help. God, throw me a life raft here, I’m drowning in my own shame!
So the next day I head into my christian workplace and attend a monthly morning tea. Eyeing the juicy watermelon, I make a dash to stack my plate. On the way I bump into a new face and we get chatting, I wanted to know what area he worked in.
“Oh, I’m helping the finance guys out, as a consultant.”
“Oh really?” I had a fair idea where this was going, as I’ve always thought of myself as a detective. Actually one time I spotted a truck load of police in our local area, I knew the hunt was on for someone and eager to offer my detective services I quickly parked my car and dashed to the nearest policeman who was sitting in his car. “Hey how’s it going? I’m a bit of a detective myself, who ya looking for? I’ll keep an eye out.” I was congratulating myself on my helpful attitude, but he was unfazed,
“Yeah, well you wanna be a better detective cause you’re a lousy driver, I saw you hit that gutter as you parked.” Ha! Quality banter, he should have been a comedian.
Back at the office, the memory of the past fail is dim now, the chunk bitten from my heart has healed and the water looked a little clearer today, no sharks in sight. I can’t help myself and ask the new guy, “Do you think about the spiritual side to life?”
The guy spots some pavlova and darts towards it, away from me. Wow, here I go again, another aborted attempt at spiritual conversations. But then he comes back, this time I talk about something natural-giving him a chance to chat without that suffocating feeling, like I’ve just put a plastic bag over his head and he can’t breath!
But he willingly resumes the conversation, talks about the ethics of Jesus and Buddha, and gives me his opinion, and I respond with mine. It was a good chat where we both heard each other’s viewpoint and it finished with a gift of our book, Heaven Can’t Wait. As I handed it to him, I stressed that God isn’t interested in rituals or religion, but He wants a relationship.
So God’s mercies are new every morning, and the pain of the past is forgotten by the pleasure of the present. My prayer is if you’ve tried and felt like a failure, that you get back up and have another shot! Just remember, if you miss half your attempts, than you’re in the same league as Basketball giant, Micheal Jordan, who attempted 24,537 shots, and missed 12,345! That means he shot 12,192 goals, which is an average 30 points per game. Go in God!