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Neville Callam


We live in a very fast paced world. Not only is there very much to do, but also people
expect things to be done promptly. Hardly is impatience with others manifested more sharply
anywhere than in our dealings with email.
No longer do many letter writers expect that people should read, engage in thoughtful
refl ection and, where necessary, consult with others, prior to answering an email. An instant
reply is expected and, if it does not arrive, another email will swiftly follow inquiring into
the absence of a response. We tend never to consider that the original email might not have
reached the correct destination. Scarcely do we tend to wonder whether the recipient is away
from base and is unable to respond. Nor do we think time is needed for refl ection before a
reply is made to our email. We take it that the email is delivered and that it is one of the few
emails the recipient has to answer. We expect prompt replies and we grumble if they do not
arrive according to our expectations.
This is not the only area of our lives where we often terrorize others. Aren’t we often too
hard on ourselves? How often do we manage to take time to enjoy the natural environment?
Do we not rather go quickly by, hurrying to accomplish some goal, to meet some deadline,
without being able to enjoy some of what God has placed in nature partly for our good? We
fail to indulge the joy of the simple and the delights of the ever-present gifts God makes
available where we live or work. We simply take them for granted.
Captivity to schedule and surrender to unrealistic expectation may have some destructive
effects. Here is one of them. They may rob us of the joy of sharing our faith with others. Since
we occupy every moment of our lives with daily commitments, hardly do we make time to
share the love of Christ with others. On the train, we are reading. During a fl ight, we are
typing away on the computer. If we are walking, we consider the benefi ts of a brisk pace. We
are just too preoccupied to remember the joy of witnessing.
Yet, anyone who has had the experience of leading someone to Christ knows that this
is a privilege that is wrapped in bundles of joy. It is an experience that is unforgettable. The
sense of having served God’s purpose in helping a person fi nd meaning in life, the sight of the
sparkle in someone’s eyes as they come to see the truth that is in Christ, the awareness of the
transformation that the Holy Spirit continues to effect in the life of a convert – all this fi lls the
faithful Christian witness with abundant joy. Yet, do we not too often rob ourselves of such
an experience of pure beauty?
Amidst the clamor for political correctness, we must never shut the door on opportunities
to share our faith. Of course, we will do so respectfully and we do not need to apply any
psychological pressure on others. When our method of witnessing consists in sharing the joy
we know and in introducing that experience to another, the result is not up to us. The truth is
that we have no way of knowing what God will accomplish from our attempts to share Good
News with others about what we have received from the one who loves us. What we do know
is that God offers to us and to all who believe the privilege of true self-discovery and gift of
lasting joy and peace.
When last have you led someone to Christ?
There are many good things that we can do, many great accomplishments we can celebrate
and many achievements we can record. But none can compare with the simple joy of accessing
the help of the Holy Spirit to lead a person to the saving knowing of Christ.
Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Christ? Has fear driven you into silence about your
faith? Or, are you sharing with others the Good News of the love of Christ?

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