What you stare at, you steer for

That was what my wife was taught many years ago in her driver’s education class. If you see danger on the road ahead and fix your eyes on it for fear of hitting it, you will unconsciously steer in the direction you are looking and will hit it for sure. The way to avoid danger is to look for the way around it and fix your sight on the way to avoid the danger.

It works that way in other areas of life, too. As a boy growing up, I was painfully aware of some of the disagreeable characteristics of my father and vowed I would never be like that. Surprise — many years later I realized that I had acquired all those characteristics that I had not appreciated in my father, and none of his admirable characteristics. And he did have many admirable characteristics.

We often travelled to the city by bus in those days. Inevitably my father would find someone to talk to, on the bus, in the bus depot, wherever we went, and before long he would ask something like, “What do you think of Christ?” I wanted to crawl into a hole, or at least stay as far away as I could so that no one would think I was related to him.

Well, guess what? Now I am wishing that I could be more like my father in just that way. I have at times made efforts to meet people. I have even been a missionary in a major city. It is too easy in a setting like that to get so involved in trying to minister to the needs of a few people that one loses sight of the big picture. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I am part of a group who wants to get together to talk about personal outreach to those around us. It is tempting to think that outreach means handing out tracts, holding evangelistic meetings, or calling on the mission board to do something. None of those ideas are wrong, but without people willing to make this a personal matter, none of those things will work.

Here are some of my thoughts, subject to input from the other brethren involved:

1) The more people I meet, the more chance I have to find those who are interested and willing to look deeper into the spiritual meaning of life.

2) If I come on strong, as someone with all the answers, people will avoid me like the plague.

3) Asking questions is better than having a prepared and polished dissertation on problems of the day.

4) It is better to point people to the Bible than to us as people.

5) It’s all right to be stuck for an answer. Humility is attractive, it puts me on the same level as the person I am talking to.

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