Just back from the gym after a 4 kilometer run: I'd planned to slip in and out before many people were up.
It had been a sleepless night - I was pacing the boards from 4 - and after getting back into bed about 5, I woke at 7 pretty washed out.
So, I wasn't at my strongest or my most alert, but I sensed that a run and a shower might help to perk me up.
Now there are days when I feel like a wet bathing towel wrung-out, and, just occasionally, the odd time when I manage to delude myself that I could actually make the Olympics (you can tell I'm not blessed with a deficiency of self-esteem).
Anyway, to get back to the treadmill, I was running with the wind at my back (in a manner of speaking), when about the 3 kilometer mark, the man beside me started talking. Really... not the most opportune time, was what I thought at first!
I could just about see out of the corner of my eye a man that I had talked to before, very briefly, about the Gospel. He is 84 (or was it 86), brought up in a church-going home, and a regular attender at Sunday School and Church in his childhood ('not so much now' he confessed). I think he even mentioned keeping the Sabbath Day!!!
Well, I was just about emerging from my semi-somnolent state, so I just went for broke and started talking about Christ, sin, guilt, forgiveness and heaven and hell and his own spiritual state, and the offer of salvation in the Gospel.
From time to time he responded with an attempt to change the subject, but kept on moving to topics which naturally led to another Bible verse.
I think I managed to get about 8 or 10 really key evangelistic texts thrown in with a quick explanatory comment on each - and that was going about top speed on the home straight (a not very fast pace of about 12.5 kilometers/hr).
He mentioned, as he left, his old age a bit - I was careful to remind him that he is getting closer to death and, very importantly, should not put things off.
The exchange was friendly, my manner was respectful, my words were careful but quite direct - I suppose that's all you can manage when you are nearly out of breath.
As the treadmill slowed and I began to cool down, I did ask the question 'Why me Lord?', of all the people to do this, 'And why at this very unexpected moment?' But I did thank God for the joy of being just one cog in the watch of the spread of Gospel truth, and for His grace alone to do anything useful or profitable for the man: the Lord does not let us down!
My take home line, I think, as I have hinted at before, is that you don't have to be clever, articulate or use the latest evangelistic 'technique', just praying to be used and ready to be bold, so...
Dear Saint, Unsheathe your Bible Sword!
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