Leaving your Legacy . . . Persist
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season.
2 Timothy 4:2
What a story Paul had. Certainly he had many opportunities to tell it—in prison in Jerusalem (Acts 21-23), in Caesarea (Acts 23-26), in Rome as he writes this letter to Timothy—and he never failed to rise to the occasion. In season and out of season, he was ready. He wanted Timothy to be as ready, as he was, to tell about Jesus, whether things were going his way or not. Basically Paul relied on God to proclaim truth openly, despite being in the lions’ den, so-to-speak: The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth (2 Timothy 4:17).
Remember what Peter said: Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). God wants us to be accessible whenever anyone asks why we have this hope in us, even when it’s not convenient, when we need to rush off, or when we know the asker doesn’t really want to know and would take great pleasure in making us look silly. You just have to trust the Holy Spirit to give you the right thing to say to strike a chord with someone listening so she will ask again. Persist in your availability.
Remember this too, most of the folks who really want to know will not understand churchy answers. Keep it simple, conversational (not preachy), personal. That’s the beauty of your story.
Above all, make sure your life matches your story. As I sat on the porch in the Colorado mountains this summer, wearing a deep pink running shirt, more than once a hummingbird swooped in to within a yard of me, and then abruptly turned and quickly swooped away. Although the color of my shirt approximated that of his feeder on the balcony above, he knew I wasn’t the real thing. People will be quick to pick up on hypocrisy.