« ……Always be prepared….. »   a fragment of 1 Pet 3 :15

My fear is that I miss opportunities to witness.

“How are you?” comes the greeting from a colleague at school, or the butcher at Kroger, or the owner of two dogs I pass every morning at 5:45.  And nothing God-exalting leaves my mouth.

“Let all who love His salvation ALWAYS say, ‘the Lord be exalted!  Great is the Lord’”   Psalm 40 is convicting.  I do love his salvation…but my mouth freezes when I ponder what to say.  There’s never enough time. (Hint – that’s why Peter counsels us to be like a boy scout)

Don’t think that I don’t TRY to have something at hand.  Often I make an attempt to concoct catchy openings.  Sunday morning I was out walking, rehearsing my memory verses (Psalm 40). Steve and beagle approached.  Banally I intoned, “Cold this morning, isn’t it” – not really a question, just a passing comment.  Blew it again!  How lame can one get!  My continued promenade out I struggled to come up with something that would test the waters – in 3 seconds.  I wanted something that I could say to Steve when our paths crossed on our respective return trips. “So, where do you & your wife worship Jesus on Sundays?”  (too long and pointed).  Nothing seemed natural.  Another complication was that it was Super Bowl Sunday.  (“Say, Steve, who do you think God is rooting for in today’s big game?” )    Fortunately Steve had already turned into his neighborhood and wasn’t subjected to my bungling attempts.  But there is next time.

This morning I was drawn back to one of my favorite OT words “esher/asher”.  Yes, it’s the name of one of Jacob’s sons.  It means blessed, happy, literally –  blissful.  As you can imagine, it is used OFTEN in the OT and also in the NT.

What a great adjective!  I could substitute THAT for ‘fine’ when someone inquires about my well-being.  “Hi Maria, how are you?  – my short response – “Blissful, and you?” With one word, I could ‘fish’.  If this particular fish were enticed by that kind of bait, then a God-exalting conversation might ensue.  If the fish was not into godly bliss, than nothing lost.  He/she would just think I’m a bit weird in my choice of words.

I should not FEEL anxious about fishing.  After all, catching fish for Christ is not our task.  We are called to be ‘fishers of men’.  Offer the Gospel (in parts or whole) and then trust God for the results, the ‘catch’.  But we do have to do our part.  Fish don’t just jump into the boat.

This theme of winsome, strategic conversation is a Biblical theme.    In another passage Paul counsels the Colossians and us to “be wise in the way (we) act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity….(our) conversation (should) be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that (we) may know how to answer everyone.”  Col 4:5-7

Please pray that I may REMEMBER and OBEY God in this first step of fulfilling the Great Commission day by day.