I spent some time running at the park the other day. Basically, Iâ€™m training for an Ultramarathon. Okay, no, I am not! But I will probably watch the condensed 2 Â½-minute version of it on YouTube sometime!
As I was walking back to my car, I noticed two people sitting on a bench. So I sauntered over to them and asked, â€œDo you two know each other?â€ They looked at me oddly and said that they did. I told them that I had noticed them earlier as they were walking, hand in hand, down a long street. I added that I didnâ€™t think they would hold a total strangerâ€™s hand because they should probably get to know one another first! They had a good laugh over that comment.
We started conversing, and I decided to ask them a question: â€œI work a lot with teenagers and college students. Looking back on your life, if you could give one piece of advice to someone in that age group, what would it be?â€ I actually like that question because it can get people thinking. At the end of a nice long life, it makes them consider what information they think is important to pass along to others.
Well, this gentleman was deep in thought. After waiting a few seconds, the lady sitting next to him reminded him, â€œHe asked you a question.â€ She couldnâ€™t see the front of his face. He was really contemplating an answer. He finally said, â€œLet them know that there is a Judgment Day, and to live their lives accordingly.â€ What a response! Well, we jumped into a fascinating conversation after that reply!
Joe was doing the talking, so I asked him what he thought happened on Judgment Day. I ended up asking him, â€œAre you born again? Are you saved?â€ He responded, â€œNo,â€ and added that he was Jewish. I then asked him if he thought Jesus, Yeshua, was the Messiah. He answered, â€œNo,â€ to that question as well. I asked him, â€œWhy not?â€ He stated, â€œThere have been many false messiahâ€™s throughout history.â€
I eventually asked him, â€œHow will you know who the true Messiah is when He shows up?â€ He said, â€œThat is a very good question.â€
That is actually a good question to ask anyone. Typically, you will hear the same answer: They wonâ€™t know, which is why it will be easy for them to follow someone who performs false signs and wonders.
We had a wide-ranging discussion that covered topics like the Holocaust, how kids today do not value life, and how they are taught evolution instead of learning that people are made in the image of God, etc.
After the conversation ended, I mulled over in my head all the directions I could have taken the conversation. Oh, well. I try and tell people not to beat themselves up after a witnessing encounter. So, I guess I should listen to my own advice and not beat myself up either. Plant a good seed and then pray.
Please pray for Joe and Barbara. They were in their late 70s or early 80s and have recently moved to Georgia from Upstate New York.
After I shook their hands and began to walk away, I called back to them, â€œKeep holding each otherâ€™s hands.â€ Joe said in return, â€œWe will. It keeps us from falling!â€