surprisingly vivid is my memory of one special day in the third grade. i returned from christmas break with a story i intended to share with everyone who would listen. on top of my favorite pencil was a prized gift from my office supply-selling parents (we get excited about pencils and the like) -- an angel-shaped eraser that stood about 3 inches adorned my pencil. this particular pencil accessory had been given to me after i made the decision that holiday season to follow Christ. after returning to school i used this angel as a conversation starter with my friends and even my teacher. i was determined to share Christ with anyone who would listen... and maybe even those who wouldn't.
two years later it seems my fervor hadn't much declined. somewhere in my fifth grade year, the children at my home church were encouraged to "fill a pew" during revival. we were persuaded with prizes -- a new bible for the boy and girl who individually brought the most people. although the prize was a factor, i remember clearly my determination to get as many people as possible to church that particular evening. am i a competitive person? of course; however, i can honestly say that this event was about so much more for me. although it was some fourteen years ago, i could tell you even now a few girls who in particular i was praying for that week, girls who did in fact help me "fill the pew" (or four) and win the competition.
the funny thing about this particular story is that the night before the "fill a pew" event i made flyers (with the help of my office supply-selling parents) to distribute and hang at school the next day. i arrived early that day with my hot pink flyers and distributed at least twenty before i was summoned to the principal's office... the horror! still, the event was successful, and 2 girls prayed to receive Christ that evening.
these stories from my childhood are fun to recall, yet the other day while driving to work God prompted these memories only to question where my boldness and fervor had gone. somewhere along the way i've become somewhat timid with my witness. it's easy to say that you'd be willing to offer up your testimony if asked, but what about the times when a friend (or a stranger for that matter) may need to hear it but hesitates to ask or simply doesn't know to ask?
for a great example of boldness in action, look to the life of paul, a man who God enabled to do great things in His name.