“Jesus Christ knew that fulfilling his redemptive mission would be excruciatingly difficult, risky, downright defeating, and seemingly fruitless at times. “But if you will just persevere,” he might say, “the potential is colossal. Think of it! One more treasure–a priceless human being– might be snatched from the clutches of a horrendous, lifeless eternity because of your work. So go! Go right now and bear witness. Sow the seed. Take the walk across the room. Leave what’s comfortable for that which is eternally significant. Risk your life for this, and know that you will never regret your decision.” -Bill Hybels [Just Walk Across the Room]
Just picked this book up a few weeks ago from my own bookshelf. Loving it so far. How often do I fail to think of the precious people out there that are entangled in the mess of this world and are headed to eternal horribleness without Jesus? Really great human souls. And the only thing standing in the way of their salvation is my unwillingness to leave the comfortable social circle I’m in. Pretty selfish of me. Pretty normal of me, though.
I am challenging myself to just get across the room right now. Even just making eye contact with every day passersby has proven difficult. I’ve gotta stop treating people like landscape (thanks, D. McCowan for the great analogy) and commence by giving them the title of an individual with feelings, joys, and problems, much like myself.
It is so taxing to break the American way of going about your day like most people don’t exist. But folks, when you and I live this way, we are not living in reality. I have noticed, however, that the vast majority of people live this way.
When I was grocery shopping yesterday (at a place that starts with a W and ends with mart), I consciously tried to look at people and give them a “hello” or a smile, and I probably got eye contact with about 5 people. And we all know how many people are at the grocery market. That’s a little bit disturbing. And yeah, it doesn’t make me want to break the mold. But I bet you that conversations don’t start very often when people act like the humans around them are part of the landscape and don’t really need the attention of others. People aren’t impacted by that. People are influenced by people who treat people like people.
And people are saved this way too. If I can shift my identity from staying in my comfortable sphere of fluffiness to this mindset of walking out of the zone of comfort and into the zone of the unknown, I know I won’t regret my decision. God, help me.