Are we just as happy?
So I’ve shared with you that I recently moved to North Carolina with my family, and two weeks ago was round two as I flew back to Chicago and drove my parents’ truck down. If you’ve ever driven through the southeast, you most likely picked up on why it’s called the Bible belt. There are crosses everywhere, Bible verses on people’s vehicles (mostly trucks), and several radio stations devoted to spreading Jesus’ message. It’s quite refreshing to see.
Driving through the Appalachian Mountains, I was not able to find many music stations. Most options were talk radio hosts, especially Christian pastors. Even though they weren’t Catholic (from a theological teaching point) I wanted to hear what they had to share. While we differ in theology, they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and they can have an impactful way of sharing the Gospel. They share it in a very engaging, happy manner, and I wanted to hear their story. As I listened, I was comparing how I share my testimony, as well as my overall speech, to how they do it.
Now I know they’re on the radio, so they have an audience that they’re appealing to. However, if we reflect on our own interactions with people, would people know that Jesus is a part of our life? As I’ve had time to reflect while driving, I do want people to see that in me. I know we all do, but are we living and being witnesses to those around us on a daily basis? It doesn’t mean we have to go around saying, “I love Jesus. Do you?” That most likely won’t get us anywhere but could lead to arguments. Rather, simple polite gestures and smiles, opening the door for people, complementing something about them. Perhaps even a brief conversation if you’re in an elevator. Basically something that makes a person you meet think, “Wow that person is genuine and happy about life. What’s different in their life than mine?”
If we want to make a change in this world, it’s up to us. We can’t just simply think our priest needs to change his homily then things will be good or the Church needs to be more inviting and that will make things good. It’s easy to think others need to change, but let’s think about the small ways we can make a difference when bringing the Gospel to the world.