Burger joint encounter

2 Timothy 4:1-2 “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction…”
 
I encountered a young woman today in my travels with this symbol tattooed on the back of her neck and her hair braided to one side so it could be seen.  It was the letter ‘A’ inside the top of a question mark.  I couldn’t remember what it meant so I asked; it is the symbol for an agnostic I was told.  She added that an agnostic is a person who doesn’t practice any religion, which isn’t entirely accurate.  (More accurately, it is a person who does not accept any evidence for a supreme being.)  But by this point she was handing me my burger so I had but a split second and all I could say was “I hope you meet God someday”.  She smiled sweetly and turned away…chance gone.

 She will meet God someday.  I only hope someone inspires her more than I did before that moment.  All in all it was better than silence which is what often comes out.  I drove on thinking of this girl and praying for her – that my “semi-seed” would plant a thought that might bloom with the help of the Holy Spirit.  In the next town I had some time so I took a break at a local second hand book store.  There on those massive shelves two titles caught my eye.  “Knowing God” and “Finding God”.  It crossed my mind if those books could do what they seemed to promise that gal back at the burger joint could sure use them….I didn’t spend the money.

 For the rest of the day driving the two lane roads of Central Washington it seemed I passed little roadside cross more often than usual and with each I was reminded how quickly opportunities pass us by.  Opportunities for us to speak and opportunities for others to listen are there and gone and only the tears of regret are left.  Each of those crosses represents someone for whom eternity came too soon.  We have little agnostic teenagers who don’t know what they believe serving up burgers…and they’re lost.  They don’t even know what it means and they are decorating their bodies with it.  She doesn’t look old enough to be out of high school but she’s practicing the religion of skepticism. 

Somebody is letting her down and that somebody is me and everyone else who learns of her lack of faith and does nothing.

 They’re starting younger all the time and we’re losing them, in part because we don’t care enough to speak.  They look to us for answers and in the silence they take the broad, easy path traveled by their friends.

“…3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.”

We are losing them to foundationless doctrine that tickles their ears.  We are losing them to apathy.  We are losing them to a society in the process of throwing off “chains of obligation” to a Creator God who can save them.  They exist in the darkness and without knowledge they are in essence throwing off the life-line to eternal life.

 Be a light, say stupid things, risk the reprisal; affirm your faith through words and deeds.  It’s great to live your faith but sometimes there isn’t time for them to notice; sometimes you have to speak.

Pray, read the Word, apply it to your life, then open your mouth.  It’s hard, I know, and we all fail sometimes, but we have to try, we have to shine, for the sake of teenage girls in darkness… 2 Timothy 4:2 ‘‘Preach the word;  be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.”

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