I was checking out at the grocery store and had an unusually chatty clerk helping me. It was odd because grocery store employees are usually courteous, but rarely talkative. Now isn’t it strange that I was a little uncomfortable? He was just trying to make conversation! I think it just caught me off guard.
Anyway, first he mistook my Colts jersey for a Cowboys one. (It’s the 2nd time that’s happened. Two weeks ago, someone thought I was a Giants fan.) Apparently, the Colts do not exist in the minds of Baltimore football fans.
But I digress.
The first question the clerk asked me was, “What do you do during the day?”. I’ve grown accustomed to that question when meeting new people and I try not to hesitate. I know saying “I work for the Church”, can be off putting, but I also know it’s how it’s said that matters too.
I told him this same thing and when he asked what kind of work for the Church, I said “Outreach and service projects.”
And then he replied, “Well, as long as you don’t come knocking on my door.”
I didn’t say anything.
And just like that, it was a missed opportunity to talk about Jesus.
I wondered about that clerk’s life and where his comments may have come from. In those situations, I hope and pray that he did not have a bad experience with a Christian or a church. And if he did, I hope one day that he will forgive and again open his heart and mind to hearing the message of Jesus Christ.
In that fleeting moment, I wished I had said something that may have changed his mind.
Have you ever had a missed opportunity? I’ve had my share of them, but this one was obvious, and I knew it right away.
Why did I hesitate? Why didn’t I say anything?
A verse I always remember is from 1 Peter and speaks to the best way to approach the topic:
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously again your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – 1 Peter 3:15-16
It may have been a missed opportunity, but it was also an unexpected blessing, because God provided me clarity to know that there would be more opportunities.
I may not have known what to say, or been afraid to say something, but the blessing comes in knowing that there will always be those who don’t know Jesus or have walked away from God, and more opportunities will present themselves. God desires to equip us through the Holy Spirit to share his message of love and salvation through Jesus Christ.
I hope knowing in my heart, who my Savior is, will be a constant reminder of the impact it has had in my life and the blessing it could be in someone else’s.
Please continue the conversation in the comments section and share a missed opportunity you had. How was it a challenge for you? What reminds you that there will be more opportunities?