The oxford dictionary states that Evolution is: • noun 1 the process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed, especially by natural selection. 2 gradual development. 3 Chemistry the giving off of a gaseous product or of heat. 4 a pattern of movements or manoeuvres.
After the short 7.40am bus journey to the train station, I looked forward to my quiet time inside the train. I had hopped that the train would be on the empty side so that I would be able to pray over the songs I was going to lead the worship service with, and ask God for His fresh anointing. The fast train to Verona is just a little over an hour and thankfully today (like it has been the past three Sundays) was on time. As I walked along the carriage way looking for a prime spot, I spotted an almost empty carriage and a sitting place with a tall man fast asleep. His feet spread over the chair of my choice, and so I smugly told him in English, please could you take your feet off my chair.
I was shocked that he did, woke up immediately and sat up, then said to me:
“Is that train opposite going to Venice”
I was surprised he spoke English, sounded American, at which I replied, “yes it is but it’s a very slow one and stops at every stop. But this train takes you straight to Verona, and you can change over for the fast one to Venice”
Then he replied, “I would have been surprised if they put me on the slowest one”
I was thinking to myself, please go back to sleep, I need to spend some time praying over my songs, because I need the anointing of God to flow in today’s service. But instead, he just kept talking and talking and talking. Fifteen minutes into the journey, he had given me a brief history of himself, and he was a young American footballer playing in the European league and after his two years in Bolzano (North of Italy – German speaking region), he was now playing for Barcelona (in Spain). Great, but that didn’t stop there. And at no point did it occur to me to try and witness to him. All I was thinking about was me, my worship service and my songs. I kept hoping there would be one of those “awkward moments” but he just kept talking..lol.. And finally after twenty five minutes of him jabbing away I finally said to the Lord, I give up Lord. Maybe after the train ride, on the next bus ride to my final stop, just maybe I’ll have a bit of quiet time to pray over my songs and for more of His anointing.
He spoke about, culture, life, education, women, beer you name it, I heard it all that morning J, and it wasn’t even 8.30am yet. And all I did was listen to him. I was able to tell him what I was doing too here in these northern regions of Italy, but the conversation was more his sided J.
Then finally, with only fifteen minutes left of the journey, he asks me what I was going to Verona to do, that was when it all started. I told him I was off to church and told him a little about my church. Then we introduced ourselves. His name was David, and mine Lifeofastranger.
“I’m not quite sure what to call myself. I am Jewish and my family are devout. Problem is I’m not quite sure about all these things to do with God. How is it you can believe in God, as opposed to evolution?”
Then I asked him, how do you think the world came to being today?
He had spent his first two college years taking classes in physics at the University of North Carolina (in Chapel Hill), and replied saying, “gaseous particles that soon came together to become water and small life forms started to form”.
I smiled at him and asked him, so what then gave off these gaseous particles?
Which I quickly followed with, for a product to form there has to be a reaction involving reactants. There has to be an initial event that created the reactants which were once products. And therefore if these gaseous particles are a result of – gradual development, giving off of product, a process, a pattern – these are all events that can only be initiated from an origin. This transformation leading to a product must have a beginning. And therefore, how did that beginning come to being?
He smiled too and said, “I give you that”
He moved on to ask me about the mendacity that is the world we live in today. Would I say that it is ok for one to have it all and another none? A man could have all that money, car and house. And another just working in a bar, corner shop, or a bin collector.
At which I replied, why is it so important to you how others live? How do you know if the man who is working in the corner shop is not transforming the lives of others that live in his community? Or the need that the bin man is meeting by collecting one’s refuses. You don’t know the purpose of a man; you can only know the purpose that is yours. The life and purpose of a man can only be revealed to that man, and because we are only privy to ours we can only act as a spectator, but not to use it as a yard stick to measure ours or judge what is happening around us.
He nodded his head, and gave out a smile. And as my heart continued to race faster, I realised we had reached our final stop, Verona. As he stood to bring down his belongings from an overhead compartment, he said to me what do you think of Obama?
I smiled yet again. And said, I admire the lessons that have been learned from Obama’s rise – that it doesn’t matter how long it takes, change is going to come. But whatever difference, bad or good he makes around him, will only be accredited to him to his account. But you see, because we all have our own individual purposes, nobody is going to help us build our accounts, only us. Then I asked him, what are you doing about yours? Because when we get to heaven, God is not going to ask you, “yo what do you think of Obama”, He’s going to get YOUR Life’s CV out and ask you what you did with yours. So stop watching the mendacity that is in the world today, or the successes others make out of their lives, what really matters is “what did David do with his”, and how was he able to use it to transform the lives of the people / the community around him. What did David do with his “tenure”, and what Legacy did he leave behind. To BE sure his LIFE’S CV is going to be read out ON THAT DAY. Make sure it’s Filled out.
As we stepped off the train (the doors in our carriage and the one before us wasn’t working so we had to walk to the third carriage to get off the train talking as we walked along), as he was about to bid me farewell, he held my hand and said, “this has been the most intense, and educative morning he has ever had”. We said our goodbyes and immediately he started to run for his platform for his connecting train to Venice, for his return flight back to Barcelona. I may never see him again.
But as he went, I couldn’t help but ask God to help him. After his time in Barcelona he plans to move to North Korea to teach English. I don’t know what plans God has for him, but I pray that I was able to sow enough seed to help him in that journey. My interrupted quiet time was an inconvenience to me, but I’m sure it was not to David.
So let me pose the same question I posed to David to you. What are you doing about your Life?
The Lord reminded us in our Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:11; Luke 11:3) and in Matthew 6:34 – the importance of each day, therefore make the most out of what you’ve been allocated, and Let the Lord our most wonderful and worthy saviour guide you as you work out your faith with Him. Let Him continue to order your steps (Psalm 37:23; 17:5) and help you to finish the race well (2 Timothy 4:7). Press on for the prize in front is worth the race (Philippians 3:13-14). Make a difference. Make your life count. You have been created for greatness. Go become it!! You are created beings not evolved beings. Therefore initiate the process of evolution. Transform your environment – it may be a gradual process, it may take a long time, but don’t let that stop you. Release what you are made of. Let the result be a change that can never be stopped. GIVE scholars of the result of your evolution something to debate about.
I caught my 9.17am bus, and was in church by 9.50am. And the worship service was more than I could ever have prayed for.