Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. – 2 Timothy 2:15
It had been a long day of work and a long evening of serving extended family members. As my husband and I finished our last errand to help a loved one, we decided to reward ourselves by stopping at our favorite frozen yogurt establishment.
I made small talk with the teenage girl behind the counter as my husband and I bantered in our unique way. “This pink sorbet looks like unicorn poop,” he observed.
I looked at the cashier and laughed. “Who even talks like that?”
“You two are awesome,” the cashier said as she finished our transaction.
I fished into my purse to find an invitation to an evening service our church offers that appeals to young people, though older folks like me also frequent it. “I really think you would enjoy this service our church offers. We have some wonderful young people there, and I think you would get a lot out of it,” I told her as I unsuccessfully continued fishing.
Finally I grabbed a tract with our church’s address on it and handed it to her. “I can’t find the invitation, but here’s the address. I’d really love to see you there,” I said. “Thank you,” she said smiling.
We sat down – my back to the counter and my husband facing me – and continued our banter, which often centers there on the mounds of Cool Whip with which my husband tops his unicorn-poop sorbet. As we walked out the door a few minutes later, he said, “You missed what was happening.”
“What?” I asked. The notion of missing anything is off-putting to a journalist.
“The girl at the counter went through that tract and was reading every single page – I mean, really reading it,” he said.
My heart at once leapt and sank. It leapt because that sweet young girl had been learning how she could enjoy eternal life in Christ. It sank because I had been so thoughtless in sharing the truth. That precious young girl’s eternity hung in the balance, and I had barely given it a second thought.
In my own defense, I typically am not so careless. I typically pray as I engage with non-believers. This time I was tired and just wanted to be off duty – off all duty. But that’s not how the Christian lives.
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. – Colossians 4:5
My conviction prompted me to pray immediately and continually for this young woman. It also prompted me to commit to being more consistent and deliberate in my witness.
Each day I begin by asking the Lord to be glorified in and through me, but it can’t end there. I must surrender not just the day but each moment throughout it. This is the abiding life.
I may be weary at the end of a long day, but such days are a whisper within a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away (James 4:14). Life, with all its struggles, is fleeting. Eternity is unending. In approaching matters of eternal consequence, be careful to handle with prayer.