So, this moment happened today that totally made a parable come to life for me. I’m SO thankful that this moment was shared with a friend of mine, because it’s pretty crazy, and she was there to prove it was all real!
My friend, Marie, and I went to Chick-fil-A this morning for breakfast to share and encourage one another about what God is doing in our lives. We had a really awesome time together. I just LOVE hearing about how God is moving and celebrating together where we have each seen Him.
So, we had wrapped up and were heading to my car, when a man in his late 70’s asked from behind us, “So, when’s finals?”
We live in a college town. (It’s actually a really awesome college town in Athens, Georgia, where the University of Georgia is located.)
We laughed, and Marie told him that we were old, which caused him to return the laugh with a scoff. Since he was so skeptical and swore that we were freshman co-eds, we told him our ages, which shocked him. If he only knew how much more shocking the conversation was about to be….
As he was still scoffing and turning to leave, I asked him how old he was. (It was only fair, right? I mean, we had just disclosed our ages!)
He didn’t seem to like this question too much, so he just threw a look back at me.
Noticing his UGA trucker hat, his large presence, and his watch with the unmistakable “G” for Georgia, I asked him if he was affiliated with UGA.
This peeked his interest, he turned back toward us, and launched into an interesting conversation about how he is a retired Agriculture Professor from UGA, and for the next several minutes, he told us details about his financial retirement, and how he was thankful for increases in his retirement in years when teachers were otherwise not getting raises, about how he is able to draw a double-retirement, and on and on and on.
It was during his description of his retirement that “it” happened. That roller-coaster-like gut-drop that happens when I feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to share.
Thankfully, it was also this same moment that Marie asked him, “So, you don’t have to worry about money at all, do you?”
I was thankful for this stall, because I had to send up a quick prayer for guidance. I got no impression that this man knew Jesus, so I had the feeling it could get interesting.
He answered Marie’s question with, “You know, actually, I don’t.”
So, here goes…..I asked him, “So it sounds like your earthly retirement is secure, how about your eternal retirement?”
Since he was taller than me, he dips his head even lower, and says, “What?”
“Your eternal retirement?”
Blank stare back.
So I asked, “Do you know Jesus?”
There it was. The bomb-like effect of the name of Jesus. I have written about this effect before in past blogs.
He scoffed. And turned to go, saying that he had to get to the bank.
Cause, that’s where his hope is, you know?
He paused and turned back. Thankfully, because I didn’t want it to end there, he launched into a conversation about my car. He asked me if I enjoyed driving it. I told him that I did, and that is was a secure ride (it was my intention to try to turn this conversation back to Jesus, since He’s my secure ride to heaven—see what I was doing there?).
After the car chit-chat, I pointed to the large, white roof of our church that could be seen from where we were. I asked him, “Do you see that large, white roof?”
He said, “Yes.”
Reaching into my purse to grab my church business card, I said, “That’s where I work. Here’s my card. I’d love to talk to you more about Jesus, if you would like.”
Shocking me by accepting my card (I truly thought he would reject it), he shared a light smile, or maybe it was just his lip twitching, and he turned to walk to his car.
When Marie and I got into my car, we didn’t know whether to think that encounter was awkward or awesome, but either way, we loved it!
We talked about how it was just SO COOL that God used two girls that He loves to plant a seed into the heart of a man that He loves too!
I told Marie that, knowing God, I wouldn’t doubt it for one second that God will use someone to water that seed soon. Perhaps while he was at the bank, God used someone else to share Jesus. Or, maybe He’ll use the sunset tonight to show this man just how majestic and wonderful our Creator is. Either way, we both felt loved, wonderful, excited to be used by God to plant that little seed. Which goes right with my previous post about how God causes the growth.
Pretty fitting for a retired agriculture professor, right?
Also? It’s just too cool that God made us appear as young as “freshman co-eds” to plant a seed. Cause that was 19 years ago for me. And let’s face it, that’s a miracle right there!!!
The Parable of the Rich Young Ruler:
“And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.
And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””