I volunteered the other day and I had lunch with another volunteer.
As we talked about my mother’s recent death, she startled me with the following question.
I’ve always wondered, how do religious people deal with death?
She wasn’t opposed to religion. She didn’t have a defined set of beliefs of her own.
Spiritual Conversations occur at Random moments.
That conversation turn took me by surprise.
I’ve learned to pay attention when a causal conversation gets personal and deep.
That’s often an evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit in drawing someone to Christ.
I talked about the certainty that I have when I die that I will be with Jesus, that as a follower of Christ, I have eternal life.
In my mother’s final days, she professed her faith in Christ once again and that made her passing much easier for me.
Then I turned the question around and asked her:
I’ve always wondered, how to irreligious people like yourself deal with death?
While I won’t give her answer here (it’s personal), the conversation quickly shifted to all the good works that she does to try and make sure she “gets to the other side.”
- Rescue cats
- Give to the poor
- Volunteer in the community
- Serve as a volunteer in orphanages in 3rd world countries.
You know someone like this
You know people like this.
Good, decent, moral, and giving liberally. This woman was honest – she wanted her good works to count for something.
A rich young man once asked Jesus a similar question:
A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” – Luke 18:18.
I can imagine the possibilities of motives:
- Was he DOING enough?
- Was what he was doing ENOUGH to get in?
- Did he need to do MORE?
- Was he doing TOO MUCH and wanted to know the minimum work he needed?
My lunchtime discussion with this lady on the park bench on a sunny day paralleled this rich young ruler.
How good is good enough?
That’s the element of doubt.
Can one be good enough?
That doubt, that nagging question, is a sign of true spiritual thirst.
It is an anxiety that perhaps one is not good enough, no matter what they do that is good.
Lord, lead me to someone who has this as their spiritual thirst.
In fact, please draw someone to me who is really bothered by this question.
Grant me the eyes to see the conversational opportunity this week.
Learn the gospel script called the Good Person Test.
This will help you address this particular spiritual thirst.
If you have been praying for your prayer list of friends, see who the Lord might reveal has this thirst.