It has been over 10 years since I was last in my home town of Hobart Tasmania. I recently began using facebook and have caught up with a lot of my old friends. It was very interesting to find out what they are all up to and how they have grown up and started families etc.
In the profile section I put ‘Cristian’ in the religion section but when I looked at my friend’s profiles I saw comments like ‘Religion : No thanks’ and ‘Religion: the reason most wars are fought’
It reminded me that when I knew most of these people I was also an atheist. As with a lot of people in the west I used logic more than faith and concluded that if religion was worth while, how could it have led to so much suffering. When I lived in Australia I smoked, drank, took drugs and lived life believing that I was responsible for me and that was that.
Now, being a born again Christian, I understand that life without faith is pointless (and depressing) the thing is : I want to be a positive influence on my old friends and I want to help to lead them to Christ BUT I am also aware that what I have experienced might come as a big shock to them.
I know that my friends must open the door of their hearts and let Jesus in and I want to be a part of helping them> The thing is it has to be God’s way and God’s time. Remember the analogy of the different types of soils used in Luke 8. Part of me wants to charge on in and tell them all the wonderful ways in which Jesus has changed my life. Another (small) part of me doesn’t want to mention it and just to relate to them as I always would of. The thing I have decided to do is keep it in prayer and take it as it comes, trusting that the spirit will lead me.
The stakes have been raised slightly as 2 of my friends are planning to come to Bali in 6 months. I will go and meet them and it is sure to be obvious that I have changed. I just pray that me being open about my religious life can lead them closer to God and not further away.
When I shared this with my grade 5 student’s today, they were amazed that so many people in Australia are openly atheist. The east is far more faith and spiritually based than the west but I believe that is largely an outcome of education. My fear is that as eastern society progresses, they too will forsake religion for consumerism.
Come what may, I know who my God is and I know my name is written in His book of life. I pray the same for you. God Bless You