My second conversion story, I would say, was life-altering in many aspects as far as faith, belief, how I approach others about my faith, boldness and perspective. It was like a light came on for me. Fortunately there wasn't anything traumatic going on in my life I think I just finally woke up to the path God has planned for me all along.
It was the year that the book 'The Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren came out and everyone was reading it, everyone was talking about it and lives were changing because of it. I had read it through the first time and thought it was a good book but didn't really think I'd read it through again. I like to read but I go through stints and I didn't think I'd pick it up again. Anyway, by the time I was going through it for the 3rd time one of the chapters hit me like a tonne of bricks.
At the end of Chapter 3, Rick states or gives an image of what will happen at the end of time or Judgement Day. I will paraphrase but in short, he says:
Again, I believe this moment was truly the Holy Spirit working in my life to show me that I am not alone and I am here for a purpose. It was at the time when I felt like I needed to make a difference and let those around me know about Jesus Christ. In fact, I was so moved and impacted that I didn't want any opportunity to be missed.
You were put here to prepare for eternity.
One day you will stand before God and He will do an audit of your life and will ask two questions.
- What did you do with my Son Jesus Christ?
- What did you do with the gifts He (God) has given you? The gifts, the talents, opportunities and relationship, did you spend them on yourself?
Particularly I remember meeting up with a friend to check out her new house that was being built and we had to wait outside in her car until the one of the construction workers came to open the door. While we waited, I thought this would be a good opportunity to just say what I had to say. It was the first time that I ever really professed my faith and so I was nervous but more I felt like I just needed to say it.
I think I started out by saying something like, 'You know, I have to tell you something and I don't know how you will respond to it but I feel I just need to say it. I had mentioned that I was reading this book and I want to tell you about my friend Jesus Christ.' To my relief we talked for a bit about it and shortly after that she decided to start attending church. We've had many bible studies from that first meeting and we've also gotten closer because of it. All in the name of Jesus Christ.
I try to speak boldly about my faith but one thing I know for sure, the more I study and read, the more I grow and less fear is instilled in me. I know I've been blessed with having many contacts, friends and relationships to the point of it being (probably) to my detriment. Meaning that I thrive on relationships and that fulfillment is good but I also know that being in His Word can fill a deeper void that I have within me. It's the discipline of taking the time to spend it with God rather than filling the clock with 'things to do'. I also believe that God made us for the purpose of relationship, however, we need to keep the vertical relationship Priority #1 before any horizontal relationship.
So I ask this (it applies to myself as well), where are we giving our time? Are we spending time with the Father as much as our earthly relationship? How are we making a difference in our lives and to the circle of influence around us? Are we making the most of opportunities?
Capability + Opportunity = Responsibility