Nov 18, 2013

Conversations Matter...

 James 4:14 refers to this life as a vapor. 
We don't have to live many years to see the truth in this.
Much of what we fill our days with seems more like a check off list than a life. 
Life is more than a check off list.
I believe Jesus tells us life is anything but a check off list.

As Annie Dillard said, "How we live our hours is of course how we live our lives."

Our focus on the temporary pleasures and accomplishments cannot hold a candle to the things of eternity. We lack the perspective to fully understand this concept, our minds could not handle the wondrous things of eternity. 
We have a solid manual to help us navigate though these days and a teacher who expects us to model Him, as all good students do.

Relationships, community, conversations were important to Christ,
and we are to follow His lead.
The conversation my husband and I had on a recent flight out of Nashville. A young gal sat next to us, headed back to San Diego. Coronado Island to be specific..... little piece of heaven. 
She had visited Belmont University and fallen in love.
 When we shared this was our daughters Alma mater she excitedly gave us her reasons to apply, her plans and dreams. 
The discussion led to faith and her hope to continue to grow in her faith.
This will not be easy whether at a Christian Institution or secular. 
Statistics claim 60-80% of students who call themselves Christian will walk away from their faith at the end of four years... at a secular college.

For those at a Christian college I believe it is that much easier to drift away. It's easy to blend in, say the right words, act in the appropriate manner... all while your heart has left your Creator and Lover of your soul.

I listened to a senior at Wheaton College share his thoughts with an incoming class. He chose Wheaton because of it's rich Christian heritage. Wheaton is the creme de la creme in my book. 
So he went. 
He excelled.
He made friends.
At the end of his freshman year he had never felt farther away from God.
What happened?

He went along. He said the words. He sang the songs. He did what was expected. But he did it alone. 
He forgot the redeeming nature and power of Jesus. 
He forgot to engage with his Father.

God in His amazing love, tapped on his heart and pulled him back. He learned a great lesson, through darkness and loneliness and he shared it. Perhaps a few will listen and remember.

The conversation we had at the dog park in Nashville. A young man noticed my Lipscomb xcountry shirt, his wife a senior there. We talked about life decisions, as he is trying to find community, possibly a seminary. 
His pendulum had swung wide when he left for college. He had grown up in an ultra conservative church and wanted to experience something different. Now, the pendulum was swinging back to where he found his belief. 
Where was that exactly, he was unsure. 
We shared a church we attend in Nashville, as we thought it might fit him. He chuckled that friends had mentioned the same church. 
We encouraged him to keep searching as this journey is a marathon. 
No sprinting to a finish line you cannot see. 
At the end of our conversation he thanked us for talking with him.
There is nothing I'd rather do than
encourage someone.


The hubs and I watched Billy Graham point us to the cross... again. I thought I had seen the last of Billy's days evangelizing. This ninety five year old gem is still saying yes to Christ. What an example to us, to share the most important gift we have ever received.
It took me back.
Sixteen years to be exact.
My four year old sat on the couch... Billy on TV in the middle of the day. Not sure why, but thankful.
My boy said to me, "Mommy, I want to do that" as he pointed to the TV. "I want to ask Jesus into my heart." 

You better believe that conversation mattered. 

Conversations matter. Have one today.

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