Today I'm writing at Internet Cafe Devotions. Won't you grab a cup of coffee and join me there?
“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” (Matthew 13:13,16)
For most of my adult life I had an approach-avoidance relationship with Jesus. Nine years ago my husband and I took a course at the church we casually attended— a 10-week introduction to Christianity called Alpha. At the beginning of Alpha I was a skeptical seeker. By the end of the course I was an on-fire Christian who finally “got it.” To say Alpha launched my faith life (and my husband’s too) is an understatement.
Now I help to run Alpha at my church and have made many friends who have had similar experiences. Alpha answered our questions, ignited our faith and connected us to other believers in lasting relationships.
We’re organizing this year’s course which begins in a few weeks. But, interest is not as robust as we hoped. Believe me it’s not for our lack of trying. I scratch my head and ask, “Why?” Why aren’t folks registering in droves—when we believe so passionately in this program? Why don’t those with doubts and questions want to explore answers? Why don’t others want to commit ten Sunday evenings to a program that could likely change their lives?
My most thoughtful and fully-formed answer is, “I don’t know.”
I’ve been asking questions like these for a while. And not just with Alpha—but with all the ministries I'm involved with. I’m impatient to see results. I expect my efforts will bear fruit and I feel frustrated when they don’t. I wonder, “Why?”
- Why do some have ears that “hear,” but others appear deaf?
- Why does the word of God inspire some to respond radically, but leaves many indifferent, defiant or even hostile?
- Why do some Christians visibly grow spiritually while others seem to remain the same?