It’s interesting the things that people pray for. We pray for our children, families, friends, jobs, money, security, health, our pets, etc. The list of prayers can be never-ending, and there have been times within my life where I’ve prayed for things that didn’t belong on my prayer list, but truly needed to be moved to a “To Do” list or even a “Grocery List.”
For the past few weeks I’ve had a specific prayer that I’ve been keeping a secret. The kind of prayer that only God knew what I was seeking, and if He wanted to bring me the gift of friendship I would silently sit and wait. I have to admit that I was rather surprised at how quickly He answered my prayer.
What was I praying for?
I was praying that God would introduce me to someone who was Jewish. Now, I know lots of people who are, but I wanted someone who God would bring me so I could openly ask questions about what they believed, and this morning God introduced me to such a man.
This morning, as I was leaving a meeting, a man yelled for me to stop. He wanted to introduce himself and I quickly turned and within a moment I knew that we we’re going to become friends. We stood in the parking lot for over an hour when I made a comment about faith. His reply was, “He was raised Jewish.” Man… the poor man didn’t stand a chance when he told me that, and I quickly said, “Well, I’m a reader of the Bible. Wasn’t raised knowing religion, but found Jesus because I’ve been investigating God!”
The man SMiled and I asked if I could ask him a question regarding his beliefs. He SMiled again and said, “Sure.”
He answered, and then all I could say was, “Hummm… Interesting!”
What was my question?
I’m actually not going to share my question because it’s all part of my investigative work, but when I replied, “Hummm… Interesting!” He said, “Aren’t you going to tell me I’m wrong and you’re right?”
I said, “No. Why?”
He replied, “Because that’s what I don’t like about religion and that is why I never talk about religion to anyone because what I have found is everyone wants to be right!”
Then he shared that he is nearly 67 years old and he’s only talked to two people about what he believes. The first person was in college, and the second person was me today.
It was funny because the two of us sat in the parking lot for the next hour discussing our thoughts on God, Jesus and the Bible, and what I walked away with was I understood what he was saying about people of religion having to be right. Wars are fought over having to be right, and communication is lost because conversation turns into having to be right.
When I got home I sat quietly for a moment and read through many words that Jesus had to say, and the thing that God showed me today was that “free choice” arrives when “one” believes they are right. And what I love most about Jesus is that he didn’t need to prove to anyone that he was right… all he wanted was to be heard, and once he was heard, it was up to each of us to decide if he was right.
10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15:10
ONWARD TO LISTENING…