I had dinner with a colleague this evening. It felt a little awkward because this colleague happened to be female and we both happened to come down to the hotel restaurant at the very same time. So, we weren’t going to eat separately therefore we went ahead and sat down together – all that was open was a 2 person table, so no one else could really join us, even if someone else came down. I was definitely concerned about how this would appear, because we are both married, but it would’ve been really awkward if we’d decided to sit separately. None the less, I was hoping the conversation could be an opportunity to discuss meaningful things with her, since I only knew her at work.
During the conversation, she mentioned that she didn’t drink (alcohol) and I also said that I really don’t drink either. About the most I ever drink is a glass of wine at Christmas or Thanksgiving. She asked why and I told her that interestingly enough, I used to drink heavily and often, but ever since I became a Christian, I really no longer have a desire to drink. She just kind of let that slide with no comment about the Christian part. As we went on through the dinner, I mentioned to her that I’d almost extended my trip with a visit to a place near where she lives to attend a conference. She asked what kind of conference and I told her it was a Christian apologetics conference. Again, she let that slide – I was pretty sure she didn’t know what Christian apologetics was, so I figured she just must not want to talk about spiritual things, since she didn’t ask about it. So, we continued to talk about other things and finally, during a lull in the conversation, I asked her “if you don’t mind me asking, do you have any kind of religious background or affiliation?” I assured her she didn’t have to answer if she didn’t want to… She said, not really. She talked about how her son goes to a Christian school, how they teach good morals and values there and how sometimes they have Chapel and the parents are expected to attend with their child, so she has gone and found the sermons somewhat interesting. But overall, she said she really doesn’t ever even think about it. I asked her, “Well, do you believe in God?” She said she really didn’t know and that she just never thinks about it – in fact, never really even has the time to think about it. She recounted all the things she was busy with in her life and said with all of that, the only “down time” she has normally is spent on Saturday night catching a little TV… I (nicely) pressed a little harder, “Do you ever think about what’s going to happen when you die or where all this [the world, universe, etc] came from?” Again she repeated that, no, she never really thinks about God or her own mortality. I did end up explaining to her what Christian apologetics is, but then I just let the spiritual part of the conversation fizzle out because it really wasn’t moving along easily. I could’ve pressed harder, but being that she was a work colleague, I hoped that I’d put a pebble in her shoe about this topic.
I really find it hard to understand how a person could not really have thought about any of these topics – their own death, the existence of God, why we (and the universe) are here. We are all literally one heartbeat away from entering eternity and facing a Holy God to give an account of ourselves (Rom 14:12). I hope that I’ll have the opportunity to talk to her about this again at some point, but that may have been the last time it’ll come up. I did say at the end of our conversation that I hope that she would someday have the time to start to think about these important issues. I hope and pray that God will use the little bit I said the get her thinking that she won’t be here forever, and that in the same way she prepares for her retirement or an upcoming vacation, she should also be preparing to enter through the door of death into the final “retirement”. Just like one who has not prepared for their retirement from work, receives negative consequences, so those who don’t prepare for death will be unpleasantly surprised when it happens.