Friday, May 13, 2011

i believe always, always.

inspiration: a conversation that took place yesterday.

i wrote this note on Facebook yesterday since Blogger was down.
but i wanted to post it here as well:

something interesting happened to me today.

today during my lunch break, i was sitting in the break room eating lunch and reading my Bible and listening to worship music. a co-worker came in and asked me what i was reading. i said, proudly, "the Bible" and continued reading, not thinking anything would really be said more. i figured i had said the "wrong" thing and that, like most, they would just ignore me and leave. but, they heated up their lunch and sat down at the other end of the table. all of a sudden, they said "i think it's interesting you're reading the Bible...i'm an agnostic." all at once, i felt my heart start racing. they proceeded to tell me their "story" and i listened, not really knowing what to say.

this was really my first one-on-one encounter with someone who outright told me they were an unbeliever. we conversed for a little while (and by "conversed" it was mostly the other person sharing different random anecodotes about their life and experience in the church). they shared why they didn't believe Jesus was the Messiah and Savior of the world, which of course clashes heavily with my belief. i felt sort of awkward because i'm not good at reading people and trying to support theological arguments about religions i don't know about. i'm horrible at philosophical debates (and apparently my co-worker was a philosophy minor and had taken a lot of religious studies courses. me. i've taken zero).

i immediately knew this whole situation was sort of a "test" for me. several other co-workers came in and out (as it was lunch time) and i know they probably heard bits of our conversation and left as quickly as they could. it was an, i'll boldly admit, awkward conversation. because like i said, i did not know what to say. i literally kept saying "it's all about faith." they respected my stance (and i guess they were surprised that i didn't get angry for disagreeing with them...) but i think at the end of all this, we walked away agreeing to disagree.

but i know that God was there with me during all of that because as much as i wanted to put my earbuds back in, bury my head in my Bible and ignore everything this person had to say, i couldn't!! and honestly, i wanted to do that. but i just couldn't. like, literally, i could not move. it was like God paralyzed me in my chair.

i felt slightly discouraged after that encounter.
i was afraid that i had somehow "failed God" because i didn't have the words to say to argue my point. but i realized that it's not my job to make people change their minds. it's the Holy Spirit that changes people. not me. even if i had a rebuttal to everything he said (which for the record, i had no rebuttals against anything - except that there is a hell), it's not up to me to determine this person's salvation - that's the work of the Holy Spirit.

i determined that i can only be a light for Christ.
i can share my heart and share my testimony, but when it comes down to it, the Holy Spirit is going to do His work in this person.

i just pray that i wouldn't be discouraged by this person.
never have i ever doubted what i believe to be true. today was no exception.
Jesus makes sense to me because i know that in anything and everything, i can trust in Him to meet my needs. i don't deserve heaven, but because of what Jesus did, i know that one day when i depart this earth, i'll be forever reconciled with God.

but today, i realized for the first time how hard it is to truly be a sheep among goats. i feel like i have my own personal "goat" who may or may not judge me for living the way i do, believing in Jesus the way i do, or agree in my beliefs. but i definitely pray for God's wisdom and strength to be present every single day at work.

(also, another interesting that happened: it made me feel a little more affirmed in my faith, but after theWell tonight, i stayed to do a "Discovery Workshop" where we did 2 assessments: a spiritual gifts assessment and a 5-fold ministry assessment. i found out my spiritual gifts are: mercy, faith, pastor/teaching, and exhortation (encouragement) and my "ministry" is primariy Pastor, but Teacher came in at a close second...i say all this because i found out tonight that "Evangelist" came in at the bottom of my 5-fold ministry assessment. not that i use that as an excuse for my passive conversation at lunch. but i believe God will use me in a different way to minister to this person...)

(a brief article explaining the different roles in the 5-Fold Ministry -- Elders and Deacons were not included in my assessment: http://www.parousianetwork.org/PDF_FIles/5%20Fold%20Equipping.pdf)

2 comments:

  1. Great story, Crazy Asian! I hope you found the Workshop beneficial. Evangelist is always the lowest on my list in any test I take, as well. My top two are Teacher and Pastor, and Mercy and Encouragement are my top gifts.

    I struggle with figuring out how to balance the call to share my faith with the fact that I was created to serve in different ways and not necessarily as the "out there" evangelist. I think stories like yours are huge in this area.

    Your coworker now knows that he can share his ideas and beliefs with someone of a different opinion without getting into a huge argument. And maybe you guys even grow your acquaintance in the future so that he feels like he can trust you. It's really awesome.

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  2. thanks, Jonny!
    funny thing is i almost skipped out on the Discovery Workshop because i had worked all day and was tired and wanted to just come home. but i'm glad i stayed!!

    i learned a lot about myself and it's encouraging to know that i do have spiritual gifts! :) i really had been wondering what part of the body of Christ i was and where i really "fit in" as part of the body of the "big-C" Church since i'm not very outgoing as far as reaching out and boldly proclaiming my faith. i definitely feel more connected now though because i am able to see my strength as a "pastor/teacher" in encouraging my brothers and sisters in Christ and sharing my practical and knowledge from experience with others around me.

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