“Sometimes Your Advice Makes a Difference”
by John P
I watched a fellow employee in his early 30’s make the time clock dash this morning, an endeavor he had no chance of successfully completing on time. It brought me back to a time when I was about the same age, doing the dash myself. After a history of late clock-ins a manager (who was known to be a Christian it so happens) pulled me aside and showed me all my tardies added up. He gave me a pep talk I do not remember but it stuck with me and was a complete turn around. I arrive 20 to 30 minutes ahead of schedule these days. It is possible I would have improved as I matured, I do not know. But his caring and fatherly talk with me had an impact that I recall so many years later (I’ll leave you guessing on how many :-)).
We can make a difference with a word, an encouragement, and some understanding. Yes I have attempted my golden oratories on this young fella, ah but to no avail. He is a young married man with a toddling child. I think “Man here is the opportunity for him to raise his family biblically” and I have sparked some intermittent interest there. There of course are many others there that need the LORD as well, and I look for opportunities. It is a delicate line to take at a very secular place of employment, and I am sort of known as being “very religious” to coin their terminology. Early in my Christian walk I tended to be very bold, and consequently had at least one guy yell at me. He tends to yell easily though. I have mellowed, and come to the realization that confrontation is not the answer. That being said I do go against the grain at times challenging statements made as fact and promoted by secular society. Things like evolution and the like, you know “Nothing times nothing equals everything”. It often times results in a bewildered stare, but who knows they may puzzle over it later.
That reminds me of a story my Dad likes to tell, of how years ago he was approached by a very large and very angry man. “Your bumper sticker offends me he roared”. The offensive sticker read “Real Men Love Jesus”. My fathers reply: “I am going to die and you are going to die, where are you going to go?”, “I don’t know he stuttered” the statement nearly knocking him over. The man was Jewish and I do not know where it went from there, but I think it had him thinking one way or another, and my Dad did not get pummeled. My Dad, a Christian from the age of 12, was introduced to the LORD by a man in the neighborhood who took him under his wing offering fatherly advice and giving him his first bible. A bible he still has to this day at the his current age of 87 years.
My Dad modeled the Christian life, I watched him reading his bible, I watched him showing incredible kindness to strangers in need, literally ready to give the shirt off his back and I think he did do that on one occasion. After I started walking with the LORD I remembered back to my years growing up, when my Dad would call me over and read scripture to me. That scripture came back to me so many years later as an adult and I am so thankful he took the time and interest in teaching me.
There are young men and mature men as well I guess out there that can really benefit from a word of truth, some caring, and some bible based advice from those of us willing to put forth time, caring and interest.
I remember back to shortly after I became a Christian, I was full of wonder and questions, “Ok how do I act now”, “How do I go about learning” and a myriad of other questions, some of them probably dumb or silly. I asked a Christian I worked with so many questions and he answered them as best he could, but did not really take on a role of mentor I was in search of. Then one day I asked a question to one of the ushers in my church, we became fast friends, and he took on the role of discipleship before I even knew what that was. He remains a mentor, adviser, and wonderful friend. He was willing to take the time with a new Christian and help me to gain a knowledge of the many questions I yearned for an answer to.
I can tell you from my view, if you have the opportunity to share your learned wisdom and advise it may really be appreciated. I know it has been for me!