11/5/13 Eric, Rob late 20’s
Coffee shops are usually an unhurried place to talk with people about their beliefs and the gospel, but yesterday two separate and almost back-to-back conversations threw me for a loop. First a businessman named Eric, then a grad student named Rob. Both responded to my questions about eternity with disinterest. Both had grown up in Catholic families but had drifted away from matters of faith and are now happily pursuing their more immediate goals with little thought of eternal things. Though I talked with each for a good ten minutes, neither became interested and invited me to sit down at their tables to talk further like people often do. Both seemed very content in their comfort zones with no intention of leaving them. And why should they? It is called “comfort zone” for a reason! It makes me wonder anew, however, how can I interest them in the Gospel? Some would say we need to appeal to people’s “felt needs” – but for people who are happy in their comfort zones this seems to be more an appeal to their greed – “You might be happy now but you could be more happy with Jesus!” Or I guess I could take the relational approach, trying to live in such a way as to show others what they are missing out on, or by building trust over time, hoping to be the person they turn to during a time of crisis when they aren’t so comfortable. I hope that I am that kind of person for many people; for family, neighbors, coworkers, and fellow church members. But my heart also goes out to the blissfully comfortable people I encounter on the street and in the marketplace, people like Eric and Rob, each with their own set of beliefs and stories to tell, but my time and ability to build relationships with all these people is limited. What to do? Any ideas?