I was never a good evangelist in my days as a professional minister. As a card-carrying Evangelical, I was raised with a mandate to tell the Good News to all I meet. I’ve been out of that scene for several years now, but those compulsive feelings quickly return when I watch or listen to politics on TV and radio.
What I feel about politics must be what folks felt about my attempts to communicate about my religion. Judgmental, condescending, conniving, insecure; these words come immediately to mind, because that’s mostly what I hear in today’s political debate.
I’ve grown and matured over the years since discovering faith nearly thirty years ago. I have tossed a good deal of flotsam and jetsam overboard. But I’ve kept some things locked up down in the hull of the boat that I don’t plan to jettison any time soon.
I still believe there is Good News. I still believe that Good News is to be told. It’s the ways and means of telling that Story that I’ve discarded.
I’m not even sure I could articulate how that should happen. I was always trained to “give a reason for the hope you have,” which generally justified the use of the mustard colored booklet or napkin drawing. But how does one reduce the Story of Stories down to a three minute drive-by version. The Lord of the Rings couldn’t do it in three separate films. It still left out parts that were essential to the story.
And on the heels of this admission, I recall one past scolding voice vividly, “I take my method of sharing it over your method of not.”
If I told you my method takes fifty years to tell, is that good enough for you?
With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, but we have taken time and put a fuel injector on it, seeking to turbocharge every moment of every day, “because the days are evil.”
But what if my life is about one opportunity; one long, seventy year opportunity (if the Lord wills)? Is that a copout?