Note: This post is inspired by Jeffrey Overstreet’s review of Timbuktu (2015).
I’ve been told that I’m not doing enough to evangelize — that I’m not doing enough to “go out into the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
Lately I’ve been wondering the same thing: Am I doing enough to spread Jesus’ words?
As a result: My thoughts on all this:
I see God as the mountain in Journey.
We all look at the mountain from a different perspective, we all have our own expectations for what will be at the top of that mountain, but here’s the thing:
It’s the same mountain.
No matter who we are, what we believe, or what we’ve been through, we all want what is true, what is beautiful, and what is good.
To an atheist, what is “good” might be not accepting anything with blind faith — accepting something only when the facts and logic line up.
To a naturist, what is “beautiful” might be feeling dirt between their toes as they stand, naked, in a forest, alone in nature in their natural state.
To a Buddhist, what is “true” might be that meditation, like food, water, and air, is essential to one’s well-being.
As a Catholic, I believe that all goodness, truth, and beauty ultimately comes from God. When we praise what is good, when we seek what is true, and when we recognize beauty, we are drawing nearer to God. Even if we don’t intend to.
Which is why, for example, I’m glad when someone makes the choice to become an atheist:
Because I see in that person a desire for goodness, truth, and beauty.
A desire to not sit on one’s hands, lazily content with one belief or another.
A desire to “test all things and hold fast to what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)
A desire to go on a journey.
A desire to climb the mountain.
So, when it comes to evangelizing:
I don’t want to get in peoples’ faces, shouting “Jesus is lord!”
I don’t see how that draws people to God. I only see it pissing people off.
What I want to do is:
Encourage all of you, regardless of your beliefs, to continue 1) seeking truth, 2) recognizing beauty, and 3) praising goodness.
If you do that, and do it with love and empathy for your fellow human being than, one day, you will find yourself at the top of the mountain.