[being ready at all times]
It was the first day of the camp. The kids were still full of energy were sitting impatiently, waiting for the evening program to start. The sea’s soft whoosh of waves hitting the shore could be heard from time to time.
I sat expectantly. I was “briefed” about the speaker by my mom and the “briefing” wasn’t too optimistic. However, considering that mom and I often differ in our opinions toward various people, I tried to keep an open mind, I wanted to come home after the camp and talk about the cool guest speaker we had and how mom maybe just didn’t understand her well enough.
The lights dimmed and the guest speaker came up front. (I’ll call her Elsie though it’s not her real name). She asked the kids, “What is the way to heaven?”
A few kids raised their hands.
“Yes, YOU!” She pointed rather rudely.
“Um,” the kid wavered, confused by the tone of voice she’s been addressed to. “You have to follow what the Bible says.”
“Wrong answer.” She pointed at another kid, “How do I get to heaven?”
“You go to Church and read the Bible and pray.”
She strutted around the hall, and I was starting to understand what my mom meant when she told me “Beware of her.”
“HOW DO I GET SAVED?” Elsie stomped the ground.
By now, the kids were semi-frightened and did not want to answer. One brave boy raised his hand.
“You listen to God’s voice and follow Him.”
“How do I listen to God’s voice?”
“With your heart.”
“My heart does not have ears. It just goes ‘thump thump thump’,” she motioned the heartbeat.
I was seething. How dare she treat my kids like that?
She proceeded in telling that we all didn’t know anything and the answer was clear in Romans 10:9.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
“This is the only answer and the only way how you get saved. The rest won’t help you.”
If you know me in person or have read my blog for a long time, you probably know that I can be quite stubborn when I disagree. Especially when the person who tries to prove something to me did not gain my respect beforehand. Elsie did not have my respect and she completely ruined all her chances of getting it. Oh, I was almost raving mad. I was holding myself together for the sake of my kids who were stealing glances at me as we sat together in the meeting room.
After all that, she proceeded to talk about an altar call and the leaders of the teams was supposed to go out with the kids who wanted to accept Jesus. I reluctantly went out, muttering comments to God on my way because I was one unhappy camper. As my kiddos gathered around me, I felt something close to despair. This wasn’t the way I thought it would be. I did not want them to be scared into accepting Jesus. I was lost for words. Yet, since I was the oldest of three counselors, I had to lead. I remember telling kids that being a Christian is great. I remember warning them about the fact that this is all very serious. I remember trying to muster up the confidence, to create the atmosphere, to help the kids to feel the warmth of my love toward them. I remember pleading with God telling Him that I am not ready…
As I was thinking about that today, I thought…
I have to be ready at all times.
I have to be ready to share Christ with others whenever the chance presents itself.
I am ashamed of my feelings back then because I was pouting that it did not go as I thought it should (as in, the altar call in the end of the camp…)
I knew that my feelings were sort of justified because I really was mad at how she treated my kids (and I was in a mama bear mode), but that ain’t no excuse for not being ready for the Prayer.
Are you ready? If a person comes up to you on a street and asks you “How do I get saved?” – Are you ready to respond?
*Afternote: I wasn’t the only one who did not enjoy Elsie’s teaching methods and in the evening next day, as I was dreading the upcoming program, good news came – she was no longer a guest speaker, and my pastor took her place. He was great and gentle as always, speaking in love, and although I don’t think kids suspected that anything was wrong, it was like an ointment for my soul. Everything was okay again. Yet, I learned my lesson – I needed to be prepared and ready at all times.