chances are we’re missing chances

the simple fact that i’m writing this today is proof enough that i’ve taken a david wheeler class at liberty. if you’ve had him, you’ll laugh because once you read this, it sounds like it could come from him. if you have no clue who i’m talking about then, well, ignore this entire paragraph.

i never, ever, want to hear anyone say they never have opportunities to plant a god seed ever again.

one thing i’ve been doing lately is looking for opportunities to just plant a seed. maybe i’ll get the chance to actually go into the gospel with someone, but if not, i want to plant a seed and start talking about god and jesus and church and all of that in some way. i know that simple conversations with one person can lead to complex conversations with someone else. if that someone else is me, awesome. if not, as long as i’ve taken advantage of the opportunities placed in front of me and planted the seeds that i was given the chance to, i know i’m doing what i’m supposed to.

ok, what brought this up?

on tuesday i travelled with my high school baseball team to our second round playoff game. it was three hours and 45 minutes of drive time on an activity bus. i had bought a book the day before and read the first few pages of it so i brought it on the bus to pass time as we were traveling. after reading a chapter or so, and taking in what was around me, i decided to put the book down, put my head down, and just talk to god. that conversation went something like this:

“hey god. how’s it going? uh, yeah, this is kinda weird for me. i’ve been in my liberty bubble so much over that past few years that i forget what the secular world is like. this trip has reminded me how much you’re needed in so many ways. i’m hearing 15 and 16 year olds drop g-d and all kinds of other four letter words like it’s nothing. i’m hearing 16-17-18 year olds talking about drinking and things with girls and it’s just obvious that my bubble isn’t the way things really are. if i get the chance to plant a seed, let me do it. give me the words that i’m supposed to say. let me…”

at this point i had moved around because activity bus seats are the most uncomfortable things on the planet. i was sitting with my back resting on the window, feet across the seat, and just kinda looking around. the book i was reading was in my lap. before i could even finish that last statement, the “let me…” i heard

“hey car one. what are you reading there?”

are you kidding me? i’m not even finished with the prayer and i’m getting a chance? um, ok. i’ll take it.

it just so happened i was reading velvet elvis by rob bell. yeah, i know, he’s got some pretty dumb stuff in there but there’s some good stuff too. it was one of the jv coaches asking me. he graduated two years before me so i’ve known him for probably eight years or so. i told him about the book and said it was just a different look at christianity, a more modern way to look at things.

then he opened up.

he started talking about how he was never a church person, never went to church growing up and didn’t know a lot but some friends of his invited him to go to church one time with them. their church was starting a contemporary service and so they went to it. he said he liked it and that he got more out of that than other churches he had been to. this led into a conversation about the contemporary church and the way things are done different and all of that. i was able to let him know that the idea of, “you get your life straight, then come to church” that so many churches act out (especially in our area) is so completely wrong and that you get saved, and that helps you straighten everything out, not the other way around.

it made sense to him.

we didn’t go much further than that, and i’m sure there are things i left off on this, but the point is i was able to plant a seed within him. i don’t know who has talked to him about god and jesus and church before. i don’t know who is praying for him on a regular basis. all i know is that i was able to plant a seed and where it goes from there is out of my control.

throughout the rest of the bus ride i was able to talk about god two other times. none were as much as that time, but i was at least able to talk about it a little bit. in a situation where i would normally back down, skirt around the issue, and get the topic changed as quickly as possible i instead stood up and had the courage to talk answer the questions.

witnessing is not just going through roman’s road or some other trendy gospel presentation. yes, at some point, that has to happen. however, you can’t get to that point if you don’t take the chance to talk about the things even more basic than the gospel. rome wasn’t built in a day. chances are, the first time you mention church stuff to someone isn’t going to be the time that they accept it all and change their life. the thing is, you can’t get to the point where they do accept it all without first going through the steps of introducing it to them.

look for opportunities.

ask for opportunities.

take advantage of opportunities.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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