A couple of days ago I went for coffee (yeah apparently I’m old enough to legitimately do that now) with a couple of my friends from Church. After about 3 minutes (I’m not exaggerating) of being sat down I was babbling away about how we, as Christians, waste so much time talking about things that just don’t matter. I had spent the previous five minutes moaning about the rain, but my point was that we are more than prepared to open a conversation with ‘I hate this rain’ rather than with ‘isn’t God amazing’. We know that God is amazing, but how frequently do we actually feel the need to point it out? I would imagine, not as frequently as we feel the need to point out how much we hate rain, even though they are (perhaps) equally obvious. My intention was not to tell them that I thought we should only talk about Jesus – we know each other well enough for them to have told me to shut up and as a general rule, if you give 3 talkative 19/20 year old students brownie and caffeine, chances are they’re not going to stay on one topic of conversation for very long – I was genuinely just making my point as it had been something I was thinking about.
As it turned out, we ended up having a few pretty in depth conversations about parts of the bible, things we struggled with and things we’d learned; encouraging each other, empathizing with each other and, maybe most importantly laughing with each other for a couple of hours. Our conversations didn’t go round in circles because we were talking about things that actually mattered and affected our lives, and we managed it all without doing anything too crazy like opening a conversation with ‘tell me one thing you’ve learned about God this week’ (don’t get me wrong I think it’s an amazing idea in principle but maybe slightly unrealistic).
My point is that it can be easy, and when it’s not easy, we should really do it anyway. There are people who I see most days who I always manage to have a conversation with about how amazing/huge/powerful/sovereign/good God is, albeit, usually their doing not mine. Yet there are also people who I see once every couple of weeks, who I just don’t have those conversations with.
I don’t know why we don’t talk about these important things – are we just too British and do we worry what people will think about what we have to say? Do we worry that we talk about it too much? I don’t think we can ever talk about the one who created us too much, but I’m definitely guilty of falling into the trap of talking about whatever the world is talking about. We are called to be different, to be in the world rather than of it, and not to conform to it’s patterns – and I think this ‘not talking about things that matter for fear of what people might think’ thing, is just another one of those patterns. I can’t count the number of times people have said to me ‘this week I realized that…’ and it’s been related to something which I had been struggling with/thinking about/confused by (usually the latter). God just works like that. Let’s talk (and listen) to each other more.