In my eight years in Jefferson City, I served with a lot of people. There are 163 reps in the House, so you can imagine that you can't know or have a relationship with all of those people. But, sometimes, when you least expect it, you make a connection that stays with you.
There was a black Democrat that I think was only in the House for one term. We served on a committee together but didn't have a lot of interaction. He was also the pastor of a church and one day we were just visiting and he said something that was one of those things that has "stuck" with me since.
He said that he was looking forward to dying. Now, as Christians, we all face death knowing that there is something beyond this life, but I don't hear many people saying that they want to hasten that time. But, he was quite adamant about that.
What faith he has! It seems like mine pales in comparison. But, comparing faiths is not a competition -- we all experience our faith in different ways. The important thing is that we share our faith with others. I know that he had no way of knowing that one statement would stay with me -- he was just being transparent and sincere in sharing his beliefs.
Dr. Marshall, our interim pastor, preached this week on the Great Commission (or Assignment as he called it). He said that Jesus was not commanding us to necessarily go to foreign lands to share the gospel. Rather he was telling us to go everywhere or anywhere we were to share with everyone we come into contact with about Him.
I know that I fall short in that endeavor, but we can't understand how the things we do and say can impact others. Just like my pastor friend, something I say can stay with someone and I don't even realize it. I guess that's why it's so important that we be careful what we say or do. Once spoken, words cannot be taken back.
Marshall challenged us and I will challenge those of you reading this to make a conscious effort to share your faith with others. You don't have to "preach" to them but just don't be shy about letting people know what you believe and why. You never know what kind of an impact you can have.
This week a new administration in Washington, D.C., will take over the reins of government. To say that I am apprehensive would be an understatement. I can't think of a single issue upon which I can agree with the Left regarding the governance of this country. But, they are in control and there is nothing I can do to change that.
However, I am not powerless in this situation. As Melody said on the way home from church -- we may not agree with them but God loves all of us and we need to pray for all of our leaders.
I may detest the Left's policies but I shouldn't hate those who hold those beliefs, anymore than they should hate me because they disagree with me. So, pray for them and know that God is in control.
Kevin Wilson is a former state representative who was born in Goodman and now lives in Neosho. Opinions expressed are those of the author.