Women’s basketball, a hotel restaurant, and Jesus

One of the coolest things I got to do while working at Liberty was travel to the women’s NCAA Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. I got to go back in the tunnel, to all of the media places, and even sit on the floor on the baseline during the game. I was also able to talk about Jesus to a few people. This is that story.

when i was four, my parents enrolled me in the local public elementary school. from that moment on, i went to public school. first it was king primary, then king intermediate. after that i moved on to the public middle school and then the public high school. in my senior year at that public high school, i applied to go to college at a public college. instead of going straight there, i instead went to a public community college for a year before going to that public college. after spending a semester there, i transferred to my very first private, christian school at the age of nineteen.

for fifteen years, i lived in the public school world.

for fifteen years, i lived in the secular world.

for fifteen years, being a christian wasn’t normal.

i remember back in high school, before myspace existed and facethejury was still the cool social networking site and not an adult dating site, it was a big deal to say, “i’m a christian” in the information part of my profile. when myspace started up and i joined in january of 04, i made sure to put, “i’m a christian” in the about me section. it was a big deal to set myself apart and claim to be a christian.

it wasn’t normal.

when i transferred to liberty in january of 2006, i transferred into a world i’d never been around. it was like christian overload. they were everywhere. suddenly it was like everyone from facethejury and myspace who had ever written “i’m a christian” on their profile decided to come together and go to the same school.

it was weird.

in the past four years, i’ve gotten very comfortable in my christian environment. it’s normal to randomly break into talking about god while driving back from dinner. it’s normal to pray before class. it’s normal to dress modestly.

it’s normal to do everything that’s not normal at a public school.

i’m still shocked how much it shocks me sometimes when i leave our little bubble and go somewhere else outside of it. it reminds me that the world outside of the liberty bubble needs jesus a lot more than i realize at times. with that in mind, any time that i travel outside of the bubble, i always ask god to give me the guts to talk about him if the opportunity comes up.

this past weekend i travelled outside of the bubble all the way up to louisville, kentucky (which sadly is the furthest west i have ever been). i was with a group from liberty so i was still somewhat in the bubble, but not nearly as much as normal. everywhere we went, people asked us where we were from. sometimes those conversations would go into more detail than the simple, basic answer.

unfortunately, none of them led to being able to talk about jesus that much.

i kept looking though. i kept trying to find that opportunity. on friday morning, at 8:15 in the morning in bistro 19 at the park inn east in louisville, kentucky, i finally got that opportunity. the restaurant was pretty much empty and i was sitting by the window. across from me was our bus driver for the weekend. we had both finished eating and were just hanging out killing a little time.

at some point during our conversation, the whole idea of god and church came up. our bus driver mentioned that he was raised catholic and his wife was raised in a protestant church. he had started going to church with his wife but in his words, hadn’t completely switched over from considering himself catholic. from this, we started talking about the catholic church and some of the differences between that and the baptist church. it was a really cool conversation that included him cracking some really funny jokes about catholics. in the end, we were able to talk a little bit about jesus and luckily, our bus driver said he believed that jesus was the only way to god and claimed to be a christian.

that was pretty cool.

another time happened while i was at freedom hall. i can’t remember if it was friday or saturday, but i remember someone pointing down to the bracelet i was wearing and asking, “hey, what’s freedom 424?” this was my opening to talk about that ministry and what it was doing. i was able to talk about jesus just a little bit there. that conversation wasn’t able to get very deep, but hopefully that guy went and checked out the website after we talked.

that was pretty cool.

when we’re intentional about looking for open doors, god is intentional in opening them.

last weekend, i had two opportunities to talk about jesus. neither one of them led to someone becoming a new believer, but one planted a seed into a “young” believer and another one planted a seed about what the church was doing to help others in need. i have no clue what god plans on doing with those seeds. i don’t know how they’ll grow or if they’ll turn into a tree or some weeds.

all i know is that god gave me the opportunity and i took it.

when god gives us chances, we have to take advantage of them. the only way we can change the world is if we take the breakfast conversations and random questions and turn them into intentional opportunities to talk about jesus.

statistics say that it normally takes 7.6 times of someone hearing the gospel before they make a decision to become a christian.

maybe you’re number one.

or maybe you’re the point six.

either way, god takes simple conversations and produces complex results.

and that’s something i want to be a part of.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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