The Moment of ImpactBlog / Produced by The High Calling
I met this guy (we'll call him Joshua) on the street in a popular downtown area one night while he was waiting for a taxi. The first question that I asked him was, "How many brand names of beers can you name?" First there were the easy ones... Budweiser, Miller, Coors, Heineken. Then it got a little tougher, but he was able to pull out some names of a few others... Red Stripe, Samuel Adams, Rolling Rock. In the end, he was able to rattle off about 16 brand names before he decided to stop. He had a great sense of pride after being able to pull off such an impressive list.
Then he was ready for my second question.
My heart started racing, because somehow I knew that this question was going to make him think in a way that I wasn't sure that he was expecting. In fact I almost didn't want to ask it, but I mustered up the strength to force the words out of my mouth.
"Okay," I told him, "Now, how many of the Ten Commandments can you name?"
And there it was... I'll never forget the look on his face. It was that sort of deer-in-the-headlights look. If I could read his mind, I'm sure that he was thinking something like, "oh (dang), I'm busted!"
I almost immediately felt bad for they guy. I knew for sure that he wasn't going to be nearly as proud or confident about this answer as he was the last one. But he started to squeak out a couple of the obvious ones... "don't kill people... don't lie... umm... don't steal things..."
After racking his brain, and even making up a few of his own, four of the ten is all that he could manage. I handed him the checklist with all ten of the Commandments with the ones that he got right checked off. I didn't really know what to say to him at this point because he seemed to be in a bit of shock regarding his lack of ability to respond correctly.
Or maybe it was shame.
Not knowing what to really say to him at this point, I simply asked, "What are you thinking right now?"
He stood there staring at the list, and pointing at one of the items he said, "This one, right here. I need to do that one. I just need to do it. This one..." After asking him which one he was referring to, he responded, "This one. Remember the Sabbath. I need to get back into church. That's the one. I really need to get back into church."
Then I knew that I didn't have to say much to him, because the Holy Spirit was saying much more to him than I could ever say. Joshua's taxi arrived shortly after that, and I was able to offer some brief encouragement before we parted ways. I believe that as he walked away something had changed inside of him. Something real. Something awesome. Something eternal.
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