Friday, August 24, 2007

The Most Important Question

It was one of those discussions. Sam, my co-worker at McDonald's in 1985, was talking to me about Christianity. He talked to me about his experiences. And I was half-way listening. I was a little embarrassed because I really was an agnostic. I also believed that religion was a private matter.

I was an agnostic because I didn't have enough faith and arrogance to be an atheist. But I also wasn't convinced that any particular religion answered many questions either.

He asked me if I was a Christian. I said an obligatory, "yes." But I knew that I really wasn't a believer. I was more of a social believer. I said "yes" as a social kindness. I wanted him not to try to evangelize me. He said he was glad that he could share his joy in our shared faith. (If only he knew.) He talked about his faith like it was the most precious thing he came across. I couldn't relate.

After that summer had passed, I had moved into a small apartment with my buddy, and I had graduated from college. I had to come to terms with the rest of my life. I've talked about this pivotal moment before. But it was that one question that began the journey, sustains me during difficult times, and is the question I use with those who don't believe that Jesus is who he said he is.

This question led me to become a believer. Believe me, it wasn't because I found that God was good. It wasn't because I found that Christians were really loving. It wasn't because it made me feel good. It wasn't because it made my life better. It was the possibility that the coming of Jesus as the Son of God could be true.

The question that changed my perspective and started me on my journey to find the answer was, "What if it's true? What if this stuff I hear about Jesus is true?" The next question is the natural consideration: "If I find that this is true, then what?" The only other question I had to consider—but only briefly, since the answer was obvious—was, "Is it worth my effort finding out?"

As long as I wasn't open to the possibility, I couldn't be convinced. But, logically, that would be foolish; to not believe something because I didn't want to, rather than because it isn't true. I'd better find out for myself.

Is it worth it? The answer is, "yes."

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