I recently returned from a quick trip to Florida. What took me to Florida, you ask? THE MAN THAT I AM DATING. (This is my first attempt at subliminal messaging… how’d I do?)
But this blog post isn’t about him.
This post is about another guy; the guy I sat next to on my flight home. He was tall, dark, handsome, foreign, and had an accent.
If you don’t know, talking to total strangers does not bother me in the least. Fact of the matter is it gives me a rush. So I began as I normally do.
“You headed home?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied with a tired sigh. “Twenty-four hours of traveling. I’m ready to be home.”
“Twenty-four hours? That’s quite a trip. Where are you coming from?”
“Morocco,” he said. “My first home, where I was born.”
Now I’m pretty geographically challenged. But believe it or not, I knew where Morocco was and I also knew that in that country, the name Jesus was not spoken in freedom or with joy. Allah is the god they pray to.
So I decided that since we were 35,000 feet in the air with nowhere to go for about 3 hours, I would ask him to tell me about his faith. Outside of the media, which is biased, I didn’t know much about the Muslim faith, their beliefs, convictions, or practices. And since he sat trapped in the middle seat, I figured I would make the most of the occasion.
“Would you mind telling me what you believe?” I asked.
He looked at me with wide eyes and a slight smile. “You really want to know?” he asked in disbelief. I nodded.
As he unpacked what he believed and why he believed it, it dawned on me that Christians aren’t the only ones that are passionate and faith filled witnesses. Millions of people all over the world don’t believe blindly the way we automatically think they do. They may be compelled by different standards and a false god, but they are convicted and convinced all the same.
I asked him how he got to heaven.
“Well, I have to work very hard to do all the right things and at the end of my life, they must outweigh the bad things I have done. I have to strive for perfection. And when it’s all over, which way the scale trips determines where I will go and I won’t know that til I’m dead.”
“Interesting,” I said. I took a deep breath and then said, “I believe in another way; a sure way. It’s guaranteed.”
He just looked a me with a skeptical smirk.
So I told him about Jesus and grace. I explained the price for our sin was paid and that eternal life and freedom from death was merely a decision away. Choose to believe and trust the Gospel and life here and after changes forever.
He looked at me, at the head rest in front of him and then back at me.
“It’s too simple.” he said plainly.
That little statement struck a big chord with me. Is that why there are so many dispassionate, stagnate, and diluted people ho-humming along claiming that they know Christ and yet living as if doesn’t affect them?
Is the simplicity of our faith our stumbling block? Does its simplicity deter from its depth?
Because truth be told, it’s not simple. It’s actually hard to believe that the God and Creator of the Universe, who knew me before time, would love me so extravagantly so as to send His perfect, holy and blameless Son to die my death, to pay my debt, and make me an heir to His throne. What is simple about such a love?
It may require less effort our part, but it requires a greater faith, a deeper joy, and more desperate need for grace.
May we never reduce the simplicity of the Christian faith to a morsel good fortune.