Have you ever done something really strange? Of course you have. Or at least I hope you have. But I mean doing something really strange for YOU. Something you normally would never do, just to see what would happen. If not, I encourage you try it. For me,one of these occurrences happened when I was going to school at the University of Tennessee. On my way to class one day, just because I wanted to see what would happen, I smiled my entire way to class. Everywhere I walked, I simply smiled. I'm one of these people that just kind of walks around with his eyes to the sidewalk, and no joke, if I see someone I know, I will purposefully change my direction so I won't have to see them. And I don't just mean acquaintances or people I don't like. I mean even my best friends. It's not that I don't like people, its just that smalltalk makes me queasy. I digress.
So on this particular day I decided to smile. I would smile at people as they walked by, and not the fake, "We just met eyes," kind of smile but the ,"You won't believe what just happened to me," kind of smile. But even if there was no one there, I just smiled. You would not believe the effect it had on the myself and those around me. For me, it really brightened my day. It really, truly did. Everywhere I went, every class I took, I was actually happy to be in. But more strikingly, it had a profound effect on the other pedestrians around me. My happiness caused other people to smile. They had no idea why I was smiling, but they knew that something great must have happened to me for me to look as ridiculous as I did. So they smiled. They left their smile-hating cohorts to join to exclusive club of happy people. It was an eye-opening experiment.
I feel followers of Jesus could (and should) easily apply the lesson I learned from my little one day social experiment. Often times we treat our faith, our beliefs, our Christ, as a ball and chain that brings us down when we try to swim in the ocean of people of this earth. We cover it up like an embarrassing scar, something that is a part of us, but we don't want anyone else to see because it might bring up an uncomfortable conversation.
WAKE UP! My Jesus is nothing like this. We have been given the Answer, not of our own doing, that everyone on this earth is looking for. God has made obvious His existence. Romans 1:19 says,"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." No matter who they are, no matter what they do or do not believe, everyone is looking for the same thing: the Answer. Everyone wants the Answer, so why do we treat it like something we need to keep hidden? It's like being at a birthday party and having a huge cake, but never bringing it out of the kitchen because people probably won't want chocolate cake. Or maybe they don't like icing. Or maybe they want ice cream cake. Open your eyes! Most unbelievers are sitting there waiting to be served! Of course there will be some who don't want a piece, but that's not your problem, it's just more for everyone else!
Of course this is not a perfect analogy, but the idea is there. Salvation is a wonderful gift that we have been given and countless others are searching for. Yes, there are those who will not want to hear what you have to say, no matter what approach you take. However, there are those out there who are looking for true joy and the Answer to all the problems in the world, and we know that Answer to be Jesus Christ.
Don't treat Jesus like something to be hidden. People like to see other people smile. Let Jesus smile through you.