Since coming to my grandparents’ house in Idaho I have been working a part-time job for a retired veterinarian and his wife, Jim and Barb, from New York. This morning Grandma asked that God would make my new job into a missionary endeavor. I prayed that I would not miss any opportunities to illustrate the goodness of my God, and for special wisdom to guide the conversation with my employers today to spiritual realities. These are prayers I should pray every day, for too often I am like Hezekiah and talk about myself when I should be talking of my Savior! [ii]
So at work today, I met Scotty, a real estate agent and private contractor who is building an addition on Jim’s garage. We introduced ourselves briefly and then went about our business. Around noon I was on my way inside for lunch, when Scotty called to me from his truck where he was taking his meal. The conversation that followed couldn’t have gone better had it been scripted! [iii]
“Hey Kody, where are you from?”
“I’ve been living in Bolivia the last several years.”
“Really? What do you do in Bolivia?”
“I teach high school.”
“What classes do you teach?”
“Quite a few actually! Let’s see, language, philosophy, government, geography, history.”
“Wow! So you must be fluent in Spanish then! What kind of history do you teach? I bet it’s not U.S. history!” he laughed.
“No!” I laughed with him.
“Do you teach Bolivian history?”
“Well, not too much, it’s more like world history…”
And this is where I usually would have stopped my description of my senior history class and the conversation would have moved on to other things. But today it was as if God gave me my next words as clear as a teleprompt, and for a few priceless moments turned our simple chitchat into conversation of things eternal.
“…I actually have a really cool textbook that I use, it’s one of my favorite books called the Great Controversy” the words came naturally.
“The Great Controversy?” Scotty repeated, intrigued.
“It covers the history of the Christian church from the time of the Roman emperors all the way down to the late 1800’s when the book was written. The last section of the book covers major prophecies from the scripture, and talks about the role of the U.S. in prophecy.”
“Wow that sounds really interesting!” Scotty enthused.
“It is! It’s a great read. I’m sure I have an extra copy I’d be happy to lend you if you’d like.”
“Yeah! That’d be great!”[iv]
We chatted a few more minutes about where we have lived and where we went to school. Scotty grew up in Orofino (as did I), then went away to college in another state and got through debt-free by fishing in Alaska every summer. Now he works multiple jobs, owns his own business, and saves money so he will be able to help his three little kids get through college debt-free someday too!
After my conversation with Scotty I joined Jim and Barb upstairs for lunch. And wouldn’t you know it, right on cue, we had our first discussion on religious things. I don’t even remember how it started, but Barb mentioned that she and Jim are not religious people (I already knew that) and began to share her experience going to different religious private schools as a kid and how she was always shunned, or treated differently because she wasn’t a member of the group. So that left a bad taste in her mouth. Then Jim commented with some bitterness that most of the wars throughout the ages have been religious ones.
“You are right, and that is unfortunate, but it is only what we can expect, considering the origin of war.” I said.
“What is the origin of war?” Barb asked with a look of intense interest.
“The Bible tells us that the first war ever happened in heaven! Kind of sounds like an oxymoron right, war in heaven?”
“But that’s what happened. The Bible says that Lucifer, the created being with the highest position who was closest to God, began to be proud of his beauty and power and began to covet the place of God himself! Eventually he rebelled and then blamed the war on God. Now
he has brought that war here and he still uses the same tactics! What better strategy than to get professed Christians to fight and kill each other! A lot of honest people look at that and say ‘if your God is like that I want nothing to do with him!’ So Satan, the adversary, is still causing all sorts of carnage and blaming it on God!”
Several more times throughout the conversation God gave me opportunity to drop little seeds that I pray will germinate and grow. Please keep me in your prayers as I continue to work here for the next few months, that I will honor God consistently in my work and conversation.