As Jesus was setting out on a journey….
17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments, ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 2 And he said to Him, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my youth up.”21 Looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property. – Mark 10:17-27 (NASB)
They seem to happen at the most inopportune, times…these “life-changing, deep” conversations. When they happen, whether you are being used by God as the sage or you are the seeker, it all seems rather ordinary.
But it isn’t.
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” – John 3:1-3 (NASB)
And the thing is we know we can’t manufacture these conversations… they have to just happen. I have had them happen over breakfast with mentors in my life and with those I was seeking to mentor. I have had them happen in a car as we were waiting for a friend to come and join us. I have had them happen on the golf course and sitting beside a campfire.
You can’t manufacture the conversation.
But you can be open to having it!
You can ask the question!
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” – Matthew 16:13-16 (NASB)
Or questions. Questions that grow out of living an authentic life with others and having conversations that come from our very soul about that authentic life. And this life can’t be plastic or fake.
These questions… These conversations grow out of work and play, joy and laughter, pain and sorrow, hope and despair, victory and loss, power and weakness, trust and fear, busyness and boredom, order and disorder, sickness and health or in fuller words… Life and Death.
And when we are open to having these conversations, there comes an eternal connection… God is there with you and for you.
May we be open to these types of conversations. May we ask the questions and engage the conversation.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the times I have been able to have these deep, life changing conversations… times when I asked the questions and even some times when I was used to offer an idea, opinion or in some other way to engage the conversation as your instrument. Let me always be open to these conversations but even more, to be aware of your presence in these times. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Steve Van Ostran