I am beginning to think that I must look like a very approachable kind of person. Not that this is a bad thing, but when you start attracting those trying to convert you to xyz – it’s a bit of a worry. I guess I’m a ‘safe target’.
So I was sitting having a rather good chai latte while I was waiting for the train (in to uni today to hand in an assignment) and this old lady is dragging her pale green old-lady shopping cart around. I moved my chair slightly to let her pass and she stopped.
“I just have some magazines in my cart”
I gave her a quizzical look while my mind was running through the reasons why she would be telling me that. She pulls out two thin magazines – rather shonkily designed, if I can say so. Very, very Jehovah’s Witness looking publications, by that I mean it said so on the cover.
“I just want to give you these”
Out flew any reason and smart alec responses from my mind and I politely said I didn’t really need them. She persisted.
“I can take them, but I don’t think I’ll be reading them”
“It’d make me happy if you read them”
“Um… I already believe in God (etc…)”
“No, this is different, it’ll be quite different to what you’ve heard before this tells you the right kingdom way. You can just read one a night. ”
“Uh…well… I’ll take them, but I wont be reading them”
I took them out of her hands and said a very aimicable goodbye and as soon as she was out of sight went over and dropped them in the bin.
Afterwards I was sitting thinking through further what was going on in my head at the time – the rather desperate, “Okay, what do I know about JW’s and such” and about how it’s really quite sad that they are so caught up in (hope I’ve got the right ‘religion’ here) earning their salvation. It’s like being part of an impossible footy tipping competition. You never quite get things right. You just have to keep trying and trying.
To steal a quote from Christina’s blog,
“It may take us a lifetime of fishing to realise that there is a figure waiting on our shoreline, waiting for us to recognise who he really is. Waiting for us to turn from ‘earning’ to ‘accepting’. We can choose to look away, humiliated by our inadequacy; we can refuse his identity, preferring to retreat into our own concepts of how God should deal with us; we can bury our hope in activity. But that will never change who he is, what he has done and what he expects of us.” – Geoff Bullock
Frankly, I really like the whole concept of grace. I have definitely been caught up in legalism banter before and played a pretty decent role in probably misconstruing quite a few things down that alley. I am so thankful that my reasons (when I truly consider them) for trying to live my life the way I think God want’s me to live are not based upon earning his favor. They don’t need to be.
“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”- Psalm 143:10