It’s been raining cats and dogs here and I am having what I regard as a Banji’s problem. It was Banji, a friend of mine that propounded the theory that house roofs only leak when it rains! You may laugh but it is true and his theory has stood the test of time. Nobody has come to fault it since he propounded it. In my case, the leaks were traced to a failure by the solar panel installers to seal up the holes through which the cables were passed into the house. It was to this team that I made a call to come over and fix their error.
For now, let’s put this issue aside, we will come back to it later. Remember Apostle Paul? Just haven been driven away from Thesalonica and Berea, he arrived at Athens. It was while there in Athens, waiting for Timothy and Silas, that he observed the proliferation of idols in that great Greek city. He could have kept his peace, just as many of us do. After all, he was neither Greek nor a resident of Athens. He was just passing through.
It was not in Paul’s nature to lose an opportunity to preach Christ, was he not him that said to live is Christ and to die gain [Phil 1:21]? For days, he had been dialoguing with atheists [Epicureans] trying to show them God. As he stood on Athen’s Mar’s Hill, he was committed to preaching Christ. How did he do it? Days earlier, he had found there in Athens an altar to the unknown god. It was to this he latched on to preach Christ and show his listeners that there is of course a God who is so close to each of us but yet needs to be sought out and found. His speech was a success, he converted not a few among whom were Dionysius (a member of the court), Damaris and others with them.
Reading the Bible is a challenging task, most often we gloss over the events and the circumstances that are briefly summarised in not so many words. More challenging however is how to fully appreciate these events since we are all using our modern experiences to understand events that happened centuries before our incarnation. So any modern reader could easily be forgiven for reading Acts 17: 22 – 34 and not fully appreciating the enormity of the challenge that Paul faced and commending this fine man for how gracefully he handled it.
The Epicureans are alive and still very much with us today. I had my Epicurean encounter a few days ago but unlike Paul, I failed. I could not summon the words or courage to address the question so vividly thrown at me. Getting back to my solar installers, a team of technicians was sent. At the head of the team was Jordan, a lad in his late twenties.
As he introduced himself to me in his cool, calm and friendly voice, what I saw was the tattoo on his right arm which he thrusted at me as we shook hands. It was a statement of faith or more importantly a challenge of my faith. Boldly tattooed for anyone to read was the statement “Show me a God”? I knew I needed to address his question but I just couldn’t fathom out how to do so. I thought of all ways to connect with this lad so that I could have a go at showing him my God but found none. I pondered about what to show him and how to prove to him that my God is Alive but lost all my oratory prowess. I ended up not saying a word to show him God.
Jordan and his team spent the next hour or so fixing the leak and eventually we parted ways. I still couldn’t understand what my fears were that made me to lose the wonderful opportunity to just open my mouth and allow the Holy Spirit to teach me in that very hour what I ought to have said [Luke 12:12].
I failed and I right now all I am looking for is redemption.