evangelizing my backyard…

i don’t even know where to start with this post because there is simply so much that i want to say. so i guess i just need to pick a spot and go.

we’ll start with monday, actually. no, last thursday. on thursdays, there is a group of people from my college age life group through church who meet up to talk about stuff. life, God, the Bible, things like that. and last week, we got to talking about evangelism. i shared that i’m pretty certain that evangelism isn’t one of my spiritual gifts. we got to talking about that and surprisingly, to me at least, everyone said pretty much the same thing. which got me thinking, maybe it’s my DEFINITION of evangelism that prevents me from thinking that it could be a spiritual gift. of course, when i think evangelism, i think of billy graham and his crusade that has touched millions of lives. true, i will NEVER be a billy graham. that has never been placed on my heart. i’ve also never really felt called to world missions, which is another facet to my definition of evangelism. i have no desire to tromp through a rain forest sharing Christ with people. God has not placed that desire in me.

but who’s to say that evangelism can’t happen right at home? with those around me? and who says that evangelism has to be a blatant slap in the face? who says that i need to go around throwing Bibles at people?

who says i can’t be an evangelist just by being who God created me to be?

so on monday, i decided to give this new idea a test drive. i started small. i simply asked God to show Himself to one person through me, whether with or without my knowledge. because, you know, He’s God and He can do that. so on monday, it so happened that i had two conversations with two different people about the exact same thing: me wanting to go to seminary and eventually be a Christian psychologist. the first one happened so fast, right after my first class. which was about an hour and a half after i prayed for this opportunity. it was with a freshpeople in one of my classes about my future. he’s so 18 and a smart kid who desires to do really well in school, really well being get straight As. he has much to learn. and so we got chatting after class a little bit and he asked what i was doing and what i wanted to do with my degree and it seemed like an opportunity, so i took it. i jumped, i chomped. and it was cool. because it turns out he thinks that going to seminary would be really cool too. the next conversation i had was with a girl running a psychology experiment that i needed to participate in for class. and she basically asked me the exact same round of questions, and so i gave her pretty much exactly the same answers. and it turned out that she was a Christian as well and felt that psychology and therapy are less than useful if you don’t have that foundation of faith to stand on. it was a really cool conversation. and i was SO blown away by that. i mean, really. it was crazy.

so then on wednesday, i tried it again and went for a little bolder prayer. and it was that i would have a CONVERSATION about God that day. and of course, about an hour after i prayed, i was presented with the opportunity. and i blew it (didn’t see that coming, did you? haha). yeah. i missed it. another fellow in my class (the same class as the freshpeople) was talking to me about a paper that we have half the semester to write and he was sharing that it was about homosexuality and stuff and at that particular moment in time, i was too busy for it. i was trying to get a post done before class and i was chatting with james on facebook and i just sorta brushed it aside. i engaged a bit, stopping what i was doing to chat, but only for a few moments at a time. and i copped out of that conversation by saying that i don’t really know where i stand on the issue. which is a big fat lie when i think about it. i know exactly where i stand and i agree with him and i disagree with him at the same time (i’m not going to get into it now, but if you’re curious, you can email me and i’ll be happy to explain my position to you). so he walked away to go to class and that’s when i realized that i blew it. God sort of nudged me and said, ‘that was it, dear. right there.’

so then i began to think over the next day why did i do that? what was SO important that i couldn’t take five minutes to talk to the guy? and it’s not that anything is wrong with me or that i’m ashamed necessarily of my stance. part of it is that i’m more worried about what I’M going to say and how I’M going to react and it’s not about how God will work through me and give me the words to say when they need to be said. i get so worried about how i will respond that i forget that God is the one doing all the work anyway. i also am one who doesn’t like to disagree with other people’s opinions. if my opinion is different from yours, i get uncomfortable because i don’t want to be attacked. i know that the Christian life is the persecuted life, but it’s still something that i don’t like. it’s something that i haven’t surrendered to God yet. so i think that’s another reason why i didn’t take the opporunity.

so as i shared all this with my college group, God showed me a way that i can try again. isn’t that awesome that He’s the God of second chances? so, i’m here at school early, which is not unusual, writing this post waiting for my other classmate to show up. and this time i’m going to do it right. even if it means that i don’t get this posted as soon as i want. but i WANT to talk to him about it. i WANT to have that conversation.

prayer answered. gotta go.

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