Last night, Rob and I were sitting up on the rooftop of the hotel as usual. This time processing the meetings we had with Anna from the Eden Cafe and Mark who leads the SBS, both here in Battambang. God is doing amazing things here and YWAM seems to be on the upswing of a massive growth spirt.
It was just the two of us until this guy, Kevin, came over and asked to pull up a chair. The three of us chatted for a while talking about traveling like people do. He has an engineering degree and is a long-term traveller with plans to work in Australia for a year after this. Nothing abnormal there. It was the end of a long, tiring day, which with the soaring temps here, is every day. The only thing I could think of was how to get rid of him so we could go eat in peace. I didn’t want to exert the energy to listen and ask questions like we had been doing for the past 6 hours straight.
Meanwhile, there was a little tussle in my mind about sharing the gospel with Kevin. Rob and I stammered on about working with NGOs and leading outreaches, and human trafficking, but astonishingly, the name Jesus never came out of my mouth. I was tired and made excuses, but had regret later about it. At dinner, Rob brought it up. Apparently he’d been thinking the same thing. Rob shared a story with me about one of the SBS staff people in Taiwan going over to a guy at a cafe and simply telling him, “Hey bro, I don’t know you, but I felt like I was supposed to tell you something… Jesus loves you and he died for your sins.” Then he walked away. I guess part of the reason I am not the best street evangelist is because I see it as a huge, stressful sales-pitch of an ordeal. I sit there trying to think of a doorway and how I can sell it, then I get overwhelmed and just do nothing. Rob said, “…geeeze, am I even going to get into heaven?” We both laughed out loud, but there was a serious undertone to it. Why wouldn’t a follower of Jesus tell people about him? We can shrug it off, but there are verses like this one that give me just a little bit of anxiety…
“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
I couldn’t even order the sundae the girl offered at the restaurant because I felt like such a failure. Why do I even call myself a Christian? The enemy was capitalizing on that guilt like he always does, piling it high and deep… there’s just no hope.
We walked along later and talked about it more. “Gosh, we are supposed to be missionaries and that was a C- at best.” Then something hit me all at once. “So you failed. Now what?” There seem to be two approaches to this type of thing. One is to minimize it and the other is to admit failure and improve.
I thought about a document with a list of quotes I have in my notes. It’s called, “250 tips for success in public speaking.” The one that hit me at that moment was this.
“We all bomb, get over it.”
Exactly. I can sit wallowing in it or I can admit failure and keep moving forward. The next time it will be much simpler for me…