Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's just really not that difficult when you think about it...

Yours truly could run an entire blog themed on this week's subject matter for Kingdom Bloggers. Unfortunately, there are far too many examples of disobedience in my spiritual life, but as the popular radio song goes...God's not finished with me yet.

I almost immediately knew what I was going to write about this week because God recently put me to the task. For several weeks, I kept running into the same person at an unusual frequency. I graduated high school with this person back during the Industrial Revolution, and we went a number of years without seeing or hearing from each other. Over the past year or so, this person (I'm remaining sex neutral for a reason) and I started bumping into each other at Wal-Mart, the grocery store, the mall and even once at a restaurant. After several times, we would just see each other and laugh...eventually avoiding the small talk altogether by just throwing up a polite hand in acknowledgment of one another.

Coincidence only goes so far in explaining such encounters, that is if you believe in coincidence. Deep down I knew God wanted me to talk to this person on a more personal level. During my prayer time, this person would often come to that's got to be God trying to tell you something! But still...the awkwardness of broaching the subject matter of God with the person at a haphazard meeting was daunting.

Finally, I realized the problem for me was rooted in who I had been when this person and I shared a common past. My failure to let go of the 'old Tony' was hampering the new me from being obedient to God...whom I now served. I commited to having a testimonial conversation with this person the very next time we met face to face.

Weeks went by, then months. Pretty soon the better part of a year was gone. The opportunity to redeem myself with obedience seemed to have vanished. I tried being more proactive by asking friends about this person, searching for a telephone number or address, and even looking through a then new medium called MySpace. Nothing. I was crushed by the thought of disappointing the One who has never disappointed me. I prayed for one more opportunity to make things right.

Nearly two years past when I received a Friend Request on FaceBook from this person. Bingo! I quickly accepted and sent a message of thanks for the request. My first inclination was to dump it all out there at once and completely atone for my prior disobedience...but then a feeling to wait came over me. Now, I'm no Rhodes Scholar or anything, but I am smart enough not to step in the same hole twice...well, most of the time. So, I took time to pray and ask God to guide me in this situation...and again I got 'wait'.

Several more weeks go by when I get a message in my Facebook Inbox from this person. The message conveyed surprise at the openness I displayed concerning my faith on the social media site, and how I must have changed from the Tony they once knew. Finally! I kept my reply loose and nonchalant...and replied that God had truly changed my life for the better. There were a couple of pleasant exchanges with one being a confirmation that my blog, Tony C Today, was evidence I hadn't lost my sense of humor.

I recently ran into this person again in Wal-Mart (I promise we don't use the retailer as a social site on purpose here in Tennessee...well, I don't at least), and after the necessary pleasantries...I finally talk about what God had done for me and how the same could easily apply to them.

No news yet...but I hope this person is reading today and knows how important they are to God and to me. Oh...and I'm truly sorry about my procrastination too. Some things just don't change with either time or faith...unless you really want them too.


Michelle said...

God's timing is always perfect even through our disobedience.

David said...

Thanks for sharing Tony. I'm not too good at sharing my faith. But I have noticed that folks that knew me then are pretty shocked to where I am now.

I once took my soon to be wife, Mary Anne to a High School reunion. After a number of beers, one of my old pals put his are around Mary Anne and said, "Reconsider, I know this guy."

I think that it is very cool that you are hearing God about sharing your faith; I pray that not only do you keep listening, but that you have many opportunities to bear fruit in the Kingdom.