Recently I sat next to a well dressed man on an airplane. I engaged in some small talk with him while everyone was getting seated. I had noticed an Ohio State logo on his cell phone so we discussed his excitement about Urban Meyer taking over the football program.
As he sat down, he pulled a paperback book out his briefcase and put it in the seat back in front of him. After take-off he pulled the book and read for the remainder of the flight. I did not seek to engage him in any further conversation.
As we were gathering our things at the end of the flight, I happened to notice that the book he was reading was God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. It was then that I realized that I missed an opportunity. This man, whether he was in sympathy with Hitchens or not, was investing time thinking about God. Even if the man was reading to bolster his own desire to live life without God, he was still engaged in thought about God.
There I was, a child of God who should have taken the opportunity to point him in the right direction, and I missed the opportunity. I had an open shot and I passed the ball.
This morning, I heard the news that Christpher Hitchens is dead. Ed Stetzer wrote a thoughtful post that is worth reading, the following is a link to his post. Ed Stetzer – Reflections on the Death of Christopher Hitchens.
If we, as believers, would follow 1 Peter 3:15 and be prepared to engage the world around us, we could make a difference in some lives. We don’t need to win every argument. We don’t need to force our beliefs on anyone. We do need to lovingly present the truth of who Jesus is and what He came to do.
Some will remain angry at God, some will remain stubbornly resistant to Him, some will not believe in anything they cannot see, but some will indeed come to the place where they are willing to submit to God and seek forgiveness.
Am I willing to risk the anger of some to provide hope for the one who is open to it? I want to be. I choose to be.
God, grant us wisdom as we respond to those around us.