The woman walked into the swimming pool sauna and asked me, “Are you meditating?” (For to her it looked like I might be doing that, whatever “meditating” meant to her.) I responded, “No,” because I was reasonably certain that whatever her definition of “meditating” was, it certainly was not my own.
“No, I’m not meditating,” I responded. Then I added, “You know, the Bible talks about meditating. From the Bible perspective, that means to study and think about and ponder the Scriptures.” I had her attention. Quickly, we were engaged in a conversation which would lead to my being able to share openly about my faith. God had done it! God had put those words in her mouth, so that I could open up the conversation and talk with her about the Scriptures. No time could be wasted!
“You are familiar with the Bible, aren’t you?” I asked. While I was not wearing my glasses, it seemed as though she motioned so as to very mildly consent to what I was saying. She seemed not to be sure about the Bible. She appeared to know it in name only. But she seemed to be definitely open to what I was saying. She was, as it would turn out, Roman Catholic in background. She explained to me that she said the rosary (that was her form of “meditating”).
I went on to explain to her that in various parts of the Bible, including Psalm 1, and Joshua 1, the Bible promised “success” to those who were careful to obey the commands of Scripture. In particular, I quoted Psalm 1:2, “[Blessed is the man whose] delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night,” as well as Joshua 1:8, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
By this time, our conversation was “heavily engaged,” and, much to my delight, in walked three other people! We continued to talk openly, all within easy hearing of the others (since saunas tend to be quite small), and the woman explained to me what her interpretation of Joshua 1:8 was. “I think that means that if we follow God and do what he says now, it will mean a better afterlife for us.” But I explained to her that that was not what the passage meant in its proper context. “No,” I replied, “the word was for Joshua then and there! God was not promising success to Joshua after he died. But rather, he was the commander of the Israelite army; God was promising him success as the leader of the Israelites!”
This then naturally led to my sharing with her about a dozen other things pertaining to the Scriptures, as well as my salvation experience which occured back in 1985. Throughout the entire 10 minute conversation, I really sensed the Lord’s presence in it all. Then at a certain point, I sensed I had said enough.
Finally, in parting, I asked her her name. “Cathy,” she replied. To which I say, “Lord, please speak to Cathy’s heart about the importance of Scripture, and how important it is for her to obey Scripture, and read it, and find out what eternal life is really all about. It is not about saying the Rosary, or meaningless repetition, but it is about knowing you!
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:7)
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)