In which I worry I missed a petite abondance de temps

by Craig on October 7, 2011

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Everyone on the same road…
all headlights converging…
in a “petite abondance de temps”…
a little fullness of time.

I didn’t know Joe…
I knew he didn’t know Our Lord…
I really wanted him to know Our Lord…
It might have been a little fullness of time.

Part one of my conversation with Joe was yesterday, and I think I messed up…

and that’s today.

It bothers me that I never once came out and said exactly how he could make certain that he could go to heaven.

Things have changed for me in this year I’ve named “connect”. In the past, given an opportunity to share the gospel. I’d have just blurted it out. The good thing would be that the Gospel would be out there – and he’d know it. The other thing is that we should really take the time to know someone’s heart before we tell them what to do with it. No?

So we talked about the fullness of time…
and of God, and the Evil One, and life and death, and love…and Sara.

And I listened.

Because listening is…well…you know…

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I didn’t rush in with the “Do this and you’re saved thing.”

I’ve been wrong in the past in bypassing a person’s story, and not listening or really caring, and just skipping straight to the message. And I wonder this time, if I listened too much, and cared too much, and didn’t get to the message enough.

Joe did say at one point, about heaven, “Can you be certain?”

Talk about an opening!

And I did say yes.

I did say “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever would believe in him would not die but have everlasting life.”

But I didn’t ask him if he wanted to pray.
I didn’t invite to talk with him further.
I feel like I like a bad salesperson…
doing all the preliminaries and not closing the deal.

And that bothers me.

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Joe, and yes I’m talking to you – because you might be reading, and you know very well that your name is not Joe. There is a way to be certain. And I want you to be certain. I want you to know that if you stop living tomorrow, or 5 minutes from now, or 30 years from now, that you don’t just blink out of existence, that you don’t have to worry about heaven or hell, and you can get rid of the maybe’s.

And it’s as easy is this…

and as challenging as this.

It’s as easy as accepting a gift…

and as difficult as counting the cost of a life devoted to our Lord.

I think next time is for continuing what I wish I would have said…

please come back.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria October 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm

there can be no doubt that you watered a seed that had already been planted. Everyone has their own divine appointment. I suspect Joe’s is on the way…least wise, I pray so.

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Craig October 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I thought about that, Victoria. But what I’m wondering is, if I was really, truly ready for this fullness of time opportunity. I’ll be thinking on that. I hope Joe is on the way. God bless you Victoria.

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Susan@ThoughtfulSpot October 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm

a “petite abondance de temps”…a little fullness of time. . . that phrase captures my heart. . .there are little ones?. . .sprinkled throughout our days?. . .dearest Craig you are the fragrance of Christ – and I smile and want to add: not His salesman. . .and I think your fullness of time was given a second-chance in this post. . .blessings, Gentle Heart. . .

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Craig October 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm

French – in the original, unedited version – after the French came the line, “the French are snobby – but their language is pretty.” There – now I have that out – makes me happy ツ

And you bring up a good point – there is the BIG fullness of time when our Lord had his earthly ministry and crucifixion and resurrection. And there are the personal fullness is of time for our acceptance of his forgiveness and his grace and our commitment to live our life for him. But in the intricate pattern of God’s will – combined with our free will – there may just be dozens or more little fullness is of time for each of us in each and every day for thoughts, feelings, times to draw closer to our Lord – THAT is an extremely profound thought. You have my head spinning. I like a spinny head. And thank you for your kind words – I do think I need to be more ready for the next time – but thank you. And God bless and keep you.

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Martha Orlando October 7, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Oh, so many times, I’d wished I’d said more, done more, but I do think you are correct in approaching the human heart, the human need, with more than words. There has to be a connection to make an impression on or suggestion to anyone.
No, the words can’t hang out to dry; they have to live within someone, stir that need in their soul, before he or she comes to realize all God has done and all He will do.
I heart how you urged Joe to get rid of the maybes. :)

Took until today to read your yesterday’s post, and left a comment there, too.
God bless you, Craig!

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Craig October 8, 2011 at 8:52 am

I get a little torn sometimes Martha between having an “approach” – and just getting it out there and letting the Spirit of God do the leading. Any thoughts on that – I’d heart hearing. but I think that God is love – love is relational – God is relational – and I think he would want us to understand hearts – then on the other hand, it’s him. God does the saving and not us – or our approach. Conflicting thoughts. Now, remember – the rest of this is not what I said to Joe – it’s kind of what I wish I had said to Joe. God bless you, Martha!

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Dawn October 7, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Dear Craig,

I remember when you accepted Christ and went around telling everyone that all they had to do was accept Christ and they’d go to heaven so they said they accepted Christ and went about living their same old ways. You were conflicted about this so I am interested in your phrases

And it’s as easy is this…

and as challenging as this.

It’s as easy as accepting a gift…

and as difficult as counting the cost of a life devoted to our Lord.

These burned you before. I remember you blogging about that. What I am wondering, however, is why you did not tell Joe today since you were concerned that you hadn’t done it yesterday. I’m just a bit confused by that.

See you tomorrow,
Dawn (from the garden post, uh-huh)

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Craig October 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

what burned me, Dawn, was the too simple gospel – that it was just about accepting the gift – without really the second part – counting the cost of a life devoted to our Lord. I have come to learn that we need white and some yellow daisies to go along with that red rose of grace. You know? And as this little series shifts – it’s not what I said to Joe – what is now happening – and what’s about to happen is more of what I wish I WOULD have said to Joe. And since he might be reading – then it’s kind of saying it to him now – but probably not. And I clearer now? Thank you Dawn for stretching me – and making me think – and just where was that garden post? God bless you.

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Debbie October 8, 2011 at 2:12 am

I have this happen to me . . . and I feel like I have failed . . . a lot. So will listen and learn and see how this turns out. Do I need second chances or did I do what God wanted me to do at that time?
God bless you and Joe and this meeting between you two!

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Craig October 8, 2011 at 8:58 am

the thing is Debbie, it already has turned out – and I think I did fail a little. I think it’s going to end up with having a real plan – how do we share in these little encounters. And I think that planting the seed is as important as “closing the deal.”. That’s pretty biblical. Still, we should close the deal a little more often – I think sometimes were just not bold enough – but then on the other hand – sometimes we close the deal – before it’s meant to be closed. Lots of thinking to do. God bless you Debbie!

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Layla Payton October 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

No matter what happened, or didn’t happen, God is capable of using anyone, or anything, to accomplish His will. There was certainly a seed planted. Let’s pray that God waters it here (via your blog), or elsewhere…and soon.

God will not allow this to go to waste, Craig.

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Craig October 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Layla, I always seem to have to remind myself that it’s not me that does the saving – it’s God that does. But still, I think I’d like to be more prepared the next time – I just may have gotten a little out of practice. I’ve been around so many Christians – for the first time in my life, I’m around more Christians than non-Christians. Some more thinking to do…

Thank you Layla, and God bless you my friend – and how goes the *thing* —- you can answer by e-mail. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so here (ˆ◡ˆ).

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Layla Payton October 13, 2011 at 12:42 am

We could all be more prepared. I completely understand that. I am around Christian moms most of the time, and their kids, so my “field” is pretty limited. There is the store, restaurants, Twitter, Facebook, and my blogs. LOL Well, I do get out a little, but I am rusty.

I don’t have any problem discussing my health here. This is a really safe place. I had a pretty good day. My husband is doing all he can to help, and school is right on schedule. I do have one VERY important development tomorrow. I see my new neurologist at 10 am. I am quite nervous, as I have not always found doctors to be…er…helpful (to say the least). I am hoping that four weeks on a liquid/baby food diet will be enough to grab his attention. That & the list of additional symptoms that I typed up for him (they need to be looked in to). I also have my GI doc backing me up on this visit, so I feel like I have a pretty good case going. Please pray that this doctor has the insight that the rest are so stumped on.

I will be emailing you with the Korah update. I have been told that I should get that info tomorrow. I’ll also let you know how the doc visit went.

Thank you for being my friend. :)

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Craig October 13, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Layla, your field is already immensely important, your babies. Your babies are a field in and of themselves – and who knows how many lives might be affected by the lessons you teach them now. Thank you for the information on what’s going on with your health. And I have already prayed for the doctor to have insight – although I didn’t do it until today – just minutes ago – but seriously, I don’t think God has a problem with time. I’m glad to have you as a friend Layla. God bless you!

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