Sometimes we need a little inspiration to kick us out of our comfort zones. Here is a story to do just that…
I’m obsessed with street festivals.
Buskers, art, street performers, live music, vendors…any strange and quirky street event (not involving drugs or sex) always makes my heart happy. I’ve been that way ever since I can remember, when I would go to farmer’s markets with my parents and drop coins in guitar cases.
There’s something about a street festival that slows time down and helps me to enjoy the moment. Street festivals are also a unique place to carry the hope of Jesus, and if you know me, you know I’m always looking for an opportunity to share Jesus!
This weekend my friends Rachel, Abby, and I hung around downtown Kitchener for the annual NightShift interactive art festival. These two friends are just as passionate as me about two things:
- Street festivals and
- Sharing the Gospel
My friends and I grabbed a coffee and a map and began to explore the various art forms (and I literally almost cried out of excitement…). The first booth we stopped at was called “Guy’s Trading Post”. (Shout out to Guy, wherever you are!).
In his little makeshift tent of tarps and blankets, Guy was fostering unique human connection and conversation through “trading”. You could trade him an item for one of his items (mostly trinkets and a few old toys) OR you could trade him an idea/wish/story for him to likewise share his own idea/wish/story. He was a young guy with a lot of enthusiasm but I still can’t figure out exactly what he was going for. Anyways.
We listened to Guy talk to a few people, and them my friend Abby had an idea: “Let’s trade him something, and in return ask him to tell us where he finds his hope. Then, we’ll direct the conversation to the Gospel.” Rachel and I readily agreed, and we all searched our pockets for something to trade.
I pulled a cheap copper ring off of my right hand and presented it to Guy, ready to trade it for his story of hope. He stammered out his answer in-cohesively (and I say that kindly). He mumbled a bunch of stuff about finding hope through breathing deep, knowing the future is uncertain, connecting with the universe, anything can happen, etc.
In turn, we shared with him that we found our hope in Jesus Christ, and we are able to put 100% confidence in who He is.
It was super awkward.
A lady standing by started laughing at us, and Guy was flustered (I think we beat him at his own game).
But hey, we gave it a go, and I am glad we did. The Gospel means everything to me, and I was glad to give up a ring for a chance to share Jesus!
You may wonder why I’m sharing this story, but it all has a point I want you to NOT MISS:
Haven’t you ever wanted to follow your faith without restraint? To boldly leave your comfort zone and your reputation behind to stand for something greater? I think we all have these aspirations, but comfort is SO TEMPTING.
Believe me, I wrestle with my desire for comfort every.single.day. I’m a shy, bookish person. I wouldn’t mind spending all day indoors with a book and a cup of coffee.
But Jesus has called me to more. He’s called me to go to street festivals and trade my ring for a story of hope. He’s called me to talk to the homeless and the single moms and the guy at the 4/20 shop. He’s called me to be a leader when I thought I could never be a leader of anything. He’s called me to share my faith even though I sometimes have trouble getting even a sentence out of my quiet mouth.
Change doesn’t happen by sitting on the couch. Faith isn’t alive without action. People don’t grow in isolation.
Trade your comfort to share the gospel. Trade your loneliness for community. Trade your self-desires for service. Live by the power of the Holy Spirit and let the Scripture move you to action. Let His words cut your heart, and allow Him to take you to the places you never thought you would go.
And there is grace. We will make mistakes in our journey to serve and follow the Lord, but He loves you, deeply, wherever you are in your journey.
I promise you, He is so, so worth it.