A Missed Opportunity · 29 June 2019

Christ Carrying the Cross
by El Greco

This work is in the public domain.

I missed an opportunity to do a little evangelizing the other day. But I am not missing this one.

I was taken aback the other day when a colleague said that she tries to be like me. I actually did not know what to say right away. Close to right away, but then the moment passed and she was off.

I do not know that I have had anybody tell me something like that before. Sure, I have heard people say, “I want to be like Mike,” but they were saying they wanted to be like Michael Jordan, even if they were looking at me. After all, Be Like Mike was an ad campaign featuring Jordan and his amazing basketball skills. But be like me? They were just joking.

So when my colleague embarrassed me by saying she wants to be like me, I was a bit shocked. Like I said, speechless. Part of the reason I was speechless was because of my character traits she said she would like to emulate. Essentially, cool, calm, and collected. Even-keeled. Serene. She might have even used one or two of those words.

It is funny. I have been waiting for somebody to say those words for a long time. That they want to be like me. For those reasons. After all, that would give me an opening to tell that somebody why I am like I am. It would give me a chance to say, “I am just doing my best to follow Jesus,” or “It would be better to follow Jesus’ example instead of mine,” or some sort of evangelistic statement. After all, I am just trying to follow the Master. And I am a poor example at that.

At any rate, missing that opportunity might have been good. It gave me another example of just listening to that still small voice. I heard it at just about the right moment. But I hesitated, and the moment passed. Still, I told the story to another friend of mine when we were talking about something similar. And I am writing about the whole thing now. So maybe it was a missed opportunity that turned into so much more. I may never know.

I do know I am not going to miss this opportunity to write about the whole thing. After all, I have had a few days to think about it. I might even have an answer to give people when they say something about wanting to be like me. I am nothing. At least without Jesus. After all, He is my Lord. And I cannot do anything without Him. But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13) Including writing a few words about not being quick enough (or brave enough or astute enough) to talk about Him.

There is one other part about the whole witnessing, evangelizing thing. I need to be gentle. Yes, I need to be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in me, but I need to be gentle and respectful. (1 Peter 3:15) I need to keep people’s hearts in my mind when I am telling them about why I am hopeful, why I am even-keeled, why I am calm. At least why I am that way most of the time. After all, I am not perfect. Just forgiven and redeemed.

Well, I might have missed the opportunity to say all those things to my friend, but I am not going to miss the opportunity to tell people about my missed opportunity to tell somebody about Jesus. It is just too good an opportunity.

© 2019 Michael T. Miyoshi

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