As I write this, my wife and I are winding our way across northern Spain visiting both larger cities and off-the-tourist-track smaller ones. Since I have a college Spanish minor and have visited seven or eight Spanish-speaking countries, my fluency is pretty good. However, it dwindles a bit between visits, so about two months before an anticipated trip, I begin firing up the brain synapses by listening to and reading Spanish language media.
It occurred to me before this current trip that learning and maintaining language fluency has been a lot of work over the years. Some day when I die, all that knowledge goes with me. What a shame that I can’t transfer it to others so they don’t have to slog through years of learning and relearning. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a “flash drive for the brain” that would allow me to download and pass along this knowledge?
As awesome as that would be, it would be even better if I could transfer the spiritual lessons and life skills acquired from years of walking with Jesus. Although there’s no instant flash drive model, there’s a deeper and ultimately more satisfying way: intentionally getting involved in others’ lives over time.
Through a combination of inborn temperament, life experiences, and decisions – some good and some bad – that we’ve made, each of us represents a complex blend of insights and knowledge. Over the last several years, the Lord has allowed me to individually connect with several men at various stages of life. They often face either issues I have personally experienced or ones I have seen others go through.
I don’t pretend to be the “font of all knowledge,” but one thing about getting old is that you’ve lived through a lot and seen a lot. What I share with them falls into the “for what it’s worth, here’s what I’ve learned” category. There is no agenda in these meetings beyond getting to know a brother in Christ and then, as things unfold, passing along how I’ve seen God work in parallel situations.
And I’ve had two or three of these guys tell me that God has used me to literally change their lives. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Of course, everyone is super-busy these days, and some of us have more flexible schedules than others. But I ask you, are there people in your life to whom you are transferring God’s lessons? It starts, if relevant, with our kids and other family members. Or it could be through children’s church or Sunday School. Or it might take the form of regular casual – but intentional – friendship relationships over coffee. And don’t forget about looking for ways to help others take that first step toward getting to know Jesus in the first place. That’s where it all begins.
I’m not trying to heap on another “must-do” task, but seeking opportunities to deploy the “flash drive for your soul” can be one of life’s incredible blessings. Even though it’s not an instantaneous process, it can have an eternal impact.