Monday, September 14, 2015

Getting Started

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1: 6

I was 26 years old with a husband and two year old daughter. We had finally reached our goal of going to Pakistan as missionaries. Each morning I awoke with great zeal and passion to learn Urdu so that I might one day be able to share the Good News about Jesus with Pakistani Muslim women. Three months after arrival the much anticipated day had arrived. I was excited and nervous as I made my way to the tailor’s home. Suddenly out of nowhere numerous women from the neighborhood appeared, curious about the new white lady. We all gathered in the courtyard. I was offered a rickety chair while the other ladies sat on a mat around me. One lady stood beside me and shooed away the flies from my face with a straw fan. I can’t remember what I shared about the Gospel. I just remember I had rehearsed my evangelistic speech in very limited Urdu many times over in order that I would not forget a word of it. I memorized it in fact. The ladies stared at me. They looked like they were really listening which made me feel psyched. Wow! I finally became a missionary, I thought. I returned home bubbling over with joy. Today, decades later, I smile about that day. It must have looked so colonial like. Undoubtedly the women were analyzing more how I looked than understood my three minute evangelistic presentation.

Well, we all have to start somewhere…Perhaps you have met a Muslim woman and befriended her and you just don’t know how to begin a spiritual topic. Maybe you think she might be offended or not interested. Or perhaps an opportunity arose but you froze with uncertainty and let the opportunity slip by unused. Take heart. I have been there, too. We all have to start somewhere. If I could do that day all over again at the tailor’s home I would be more natural and not plan a presentation. I would rely more on the Holy Spirit rather than a script. And I would not analyze my speech afterwards. I would have tried to get to know the women first, listen to them, and love them. I was too conscious of “my presentation”. You learn along the way. There are no formulas or successful methods. Just love and passion and a fountain of joy in the Holy Spirit. I warn you that when you take the first plunge of getting started you will be smitten with a sense of adventure that you never knew existed! For me that first day of getting started has extended into three decades.

Dear heavenly Father, please help me to get started. Remove my fear and reticence. In Jesus' name, Amen.