And with that, my very last Spring Break is over. I don't want to say never, but with the low probability of me continuing on in higher education or going into the education industry, I think it is safe to say that today marks the end of Spring Breaks for me.
I always thought it was very interesting, how here in N. America, it seems "Spring Break" is a way for people to go to Cabo or some beautiful Floridian beach to party. I don't think that has ever been the Spring Break I've experienced. My Spring Break has pretty much always consisted of finishing up extra assignments from school, catching up with sleep, or trying to complete assignments from personal projects.
This Spring Break was honestly no different in that way for me - it was a lot of sleep I caught up on, and I worked on some projects for work (which unfortunately are still not completed, eek!). However, I was able to work more with my clients - being able to stay at home and have the flexibility to schedule was wonderful. I was also able to sweep out some of my long-awaited personal projects away, such as start up campaign merch to fundraise for my podcast, and work on writing episodes.
Over the past week as Easter is inching forward, I find myself meditating a lot over these verses:
For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. - 1 Corinthians 22-24
I think it's interesting that Paul reminds us that faith is not inherent - in fact, it is foolish to most. We aren't looking for a sign to show us (though He does sometimes provide), nor are we looking for a textbook to prove Biblical text. Christian faith isn't something we follow out of superstition, nor is it something we debate using words; our faith derives from knowing the truth and who God is.
I ponder this - once I was so hardened against religion, as there was no sign nor proof that it is real: who is God? Where is He? How do you prove there's only one God, and not many gods? Was it someone continually telling me the Gospel story? Was it the constant nagging of "what after death?" I don't think any of those things really pushed me towards Christianity - in fact, it turned me away. I felt that Christians were just annoying pests who wanted to spread their beliefs, and wanted any excuse to start the next Crusade wars in the Middle East and oppress people of other faith (credit to over-analysis of 2002 Times for Kids). I also felt that Christians were just ignorant of science, as they wanted to warp the truth to fit their scriptures, and while it's important to know what people of the "old age" believe prior to scientific discovery, it was even more important to move forward and not stick with medieval folklore.
I don't think I could've, nor would've believed if God was not a part of the equation. Faith is not something that is meant to supercede the wisdom of the world by worldly standards. It would be like trying to rate an orange by the standards of an apple: it simply wouldn't make sense. God had to have orchestrated my life to a point where I was willing to listen to Him. I think it's always a debate of how much as Christians we can actually impact others - despite free will, aren't those who are called to believe going to believe, and those who are hardened to be hardened? I believe in prayer and petition: there have been examples in the Bible where God gave in to the pleas of man and had mercy, but what from there?
I wonder sometimes as a Christian, am I living in a way that is glorifying God? Do I share and reflect the good news in what ways I can? It is one thing to share with those who may not be exposed, or supplement teaching children at church, or even to disciple and walk with a believer/seeker. However, at what point am I overstepping the bounds and pushing someone away from the opportunity to have a softened heart? Admittedly, even now as a Christian, I'm not sure I am convinced that I feel much differently about a friend who challenged our public high school biology teacher during class about evolution vs. creationism without any source than a Bible. Is it our role as ambassadors of Christ to preach and share even in settings such as that? On one hand, it is very important as Christians to be ready and able to defend our faith and share with others our beliefs, but is there a line we should discern to not cross?
What are your thoughts in sharing your faith? As Easter looms closer, it is a prime time for us to share our faith, but what should that look like? I think as Christians, reminding one another of the Gospel to encourage each other is great. My personal approach to evangelism is to live as a Christian - set apart, different, faithfully - and wait for the opportunity and share when asked. I might drop a couple hints here or there about going to church, but for me, I don't think the most effective evangelism is outright coming out with the Gospel message and disregarding relationship-building. As a Christian, are we not different? If they cannot see that in us, perhaps we need to make sure the Gospel penetrates our own hearts deeper before we share it with others.
These were just some things for me to meditate on as I am working on different things for ministry. What are some of your thoughts and what have you been up to this past week? I hope that your week has been fruitful and fun, and will talk to you all soon!