Friday, October 10, 2008

Seizing the Moment

One thing I'm trying to get better at is seizing the moment in conversation. In attempts to tame the tongue I'm finding that I'm more often regretful of having remained silent than of having said the wrong thing - at least when it comes to religion.

About 5 years ago I was in Los Angeles and heard an evangelical speaker who challenged me with some good, basic advice for life - "pay attention". It was a "seize the moment" kind of challenge and I looked forward to my opportunity to do so. The very next day I was in Hollywood with my uncle I found myself sitting at a table with a few people who were talking religion (and big surprise... not favorably). It never even occurred to me that this was a prime chance to say something until several days later. That's called cowardice.

I'm trying to be better about it these days. It's funny, I talk with Christians all the time and the topic they're terrified of most is their religion. So when they mention something about religion (especially in a negative sense) I know I have about 3 seconds to respond before they change the subject. Seems that way anyhow.

The other day I was talking with some co-workers about the Eucharist and the fact that Catholics can neither receive at Protestant communities nor can Protestants receive at the Catholic Church. A woman remarked disapprovingly that "these churches have so many rules. God never meant for us to have so many rules" and I could sense her getting ready to change the subject into something stupid so I jumped in and explained that to receive the Eucharist together demands full communion. Probably not the best response... in hindsight maybe I should have said "do not rape, do not murder, do not steal... these are just rules... God never meant us to have all these rules"..

The point I'm trying to get across is, if you have an opportunity, don't pass it up. These little opportunities can yield big results.



4 comments:

The Catholic Journeyman said...

What a coincidence. I heartily agree. Check out my golf partner post and see Tim.

Andrew Preslar said...

Practice makes perfect. But first, one has to decide to play. A good reminder to keep our ears open for the opportunity to share the Catholic Faith. I'm usually so busy talking that I forget to listen; less but better placed talk is like a cup of water in a parched land, or a batch of patches in land of worn out garments, or something suitably proverbial.

Improvedliving said...

Thanks for the heads up



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George Weis said...

Too true my friend!

We must never back down with these conversations. I'm already at problem number 2, which is I don't know when to stop. I love the topic, and it doesn't scare me, it excites me even if differences arise. Why do people get into such a twist when someone doesn't agree?

You should see the look on some Evangelicals faces when I bring up the Early Church and Catholic Doctrine.. suddenly they are looking for a way out, or they are telling me "JUST read the Bible". Hmmm... kinda strange!

The only other thing I have to say, echoes Andrew. Sometimes the listening ear is a far better approach. Wisdom is spoken with few words. Sometimes I realize just how much WISDOM I lack :)

-g-