Last week I was the victim of an evangelistic assault. It was verbal GBH of a fairly zealous nature. I was told in no uncertain terms that despite my protestations their beliefs would, in fact, change my life. I was assured that any questions I had would be answered as I trusted and stepped out. At one point, I was almost convinced that the peace and strength they guaranteed I would find could indeed transform everything.
The evangelists in question? They were runners. They wanted me to accept running into my life.
Oh my days.
Runners are everywhere, aren’t they?! Everybody runs. I know they all run because my social media newsfeed is jammed with updates about how far they have run every day. And then, if it’s a really exciting day, they might even share a map of their running route – like I am sat at my computer working like crazy just desperate for the answer to whether they turned left down Botley Road or did they maybe turn right? What a cliff-hanger! And then, bless their cotton-padded running socks, they even ask me to sponsor them. So I am effectively paying for these updates!
Folks, I’ve tried running. I sprint into the kitchen to get my doughnut, and then I sit down and eat it. Apart from that, I tend to walk. And I don’t need to tell everybody that I walk. I just do it.
The truth is, I actually admire these fit friends a great deal (Okay, I am in awe), but what I admire most is their passion. It’s always fascinating to see what people get zealous about. Whether it is fitness, the virtues of an Apple Mac over a Windows or visa versa (I’ve seen people practically fight over that one), or even politics during an election campaign, we all have things that we feel are worth persuading others about. All of us have convictions that have so significantly shaped our life that we cannot help but tell others our views on the matter.
We share about what we care about.
So, out of interest, how often does my faith come into my discussions I wonder? When do I enthusiastically pour out my experience of Jesus and how he has changed everything for me? Would I willingly try and persuade somebody that the love of God could genuinely change their life forever?
And how often do you and I spend time sitting around the table with people whose excitement about God and his plans for the world, his church and our families and friends spill over as we talk? I personally get so pumped up and strengthened by those who are training their minds and their souls as well as their bodies to be useful and fit for the purposes God has for them.
If I start to lose my inner-motivation to speak about God or allow my faith to get flabby as I run the race of real life, then I probably need to shape up! If I begin to replace my passion for Jesus with zeal about stuff or even with good causes, then I need to fix my eyes on him again and start running in the right direction.
Because the adventure of faith is always worth caring about. And worth sharing about too.
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