I was sitting in Starbucks enjoying a nice hot venti chi latte while listening to the big brass sounds of jazz. There was people next door at Panera’s I could see out the window eating soup on the patio. The smells of coffee and the time to relax makes the experience well worth the 3.87 I just paid. Plus, for whatever reason, I can connect to their landline for free, which is not normal in most Starbuck coffee shops.
As I sit and experience all that Starbucks has to offer, there is a note on the back of the cup with a title, ‘The Way I see It # 247.” As I read the words that follow, my heart goes out to this man from London, Ontario. He writes:
Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside us for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure. – Bill Scheel
Why do Christians ask God for strength or help when they have never seen Him? Why do people spend time talking to a God they have never met face-to-face? Why do Christians need a crutch in order to sustain human sanity? Is it really a waste of time when the only true and sure answer can be found within oneself? These are questions I can imagine this man debating in his head. Perhaps these are questions those who are not Christians have asked themselves as they shake their heads in disapproval. Are Christians just nuts or is there something real to this God thing that makes prayer and petition to an invisible God worthwhile? How can we even really know?
I am not God nor do I claim to have met God. I am not one of those people who have had some ‘out of body experience’ and met God in heaven and then returned to my body to tell people about it. I am a normal, trying to live my life, making mistakes but growing, pushing forward, Christian who is content in knowing in whom I believe to be God. I know that might not be the ‘most popular answer’ but it is who I am and I make no apologies about it.
It might appear that we are crazy to others. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians says, “The Gospel is foolishness to those who do not believe.” It seems to me that Bill is stating a natural response to a God he neither knows nor believes in. We must recognize the truth of the matter. We cannot expect people to believe that our faith in God is normal because to them it is not. We need to be willing to accept people where they are at and live our faith out in our life so that they might see how God has affected us and transformed us as His children. It is this effect people will see and realize there is something so different in us; they will grow desperate to know what it is we know. Until that point, we must bare in mind that our faith is ridiculous to others because they cannot understand.
Some might say that God is a crutch for the Christian and I would say they are absolutely right. I have no problem telling other people that Jesus is my crutch in this world. He has supported me to a greater extent than anyone else has ever. When I spend time in prayer, giving my heart over to Him, I truly believe God knows my hearts needs, desires, and prayers and answers them according to His will. I find my strength in knowing I was created by a great and powerful God who has accepted me for who I am. It might be ridiculous to say this but it is true.
I know who I am. I know all the mistakes I make everyday. I know the ugliness that is inside of me that very few have ever seen. To think that I can fix my own problems almost makes me laugh. How can someone who is so messed up fix the problems in his own life? I would rather look to someone who is greater than I so that my problems can really be addressed and resolved in the right manner.
My challenge this week is to think of the past and consider how God has met your needs through prayer. If we were to write them out, I am sure we would fill several pages of information we might not have remembered or even considered important. Check out The Way I See It at starbucks and continue the conversations. God bless.