The night before, I thought about how to step up my evangelism strategy. I thought about preaching in a bus and it didn’t feel like a very big deal so I embraced the thought. And since I had some business in town the next day, I decided I’d preach in the buses to and fro. I decided that if I had to do it, I’d have to do it well. So, I started a study on Titus 1, 2 and 3. I spent time studying every verse and wrote down as much lessons as I could. It had to be perfect. I wrote in very simple terms and rehearsed my opening lines over and over again. I was going to start by saying, “Good morning everybody” with a huge smile and continue with – “I hope today has been wonderful! My name is…” Everything was perfect or so I thought…
The day finally came and it was raining. I wore a blameless skirt and carried a scarf with my bible and devotion book (talk about looking spiritual). I waited and waited for a bus to come. Most of the buses that passed by were fully loaded so people were entering tricycles instead. I refused o. It had to be a bus! I wasn’t going to give up so easily. I waited there for about 26 minutes with my umbrella before a bus finally came. That was when the real issue started.
It was quiet with soft background music and I had the perfect crowd for Titus 2 – an older woman, a young woman, an old man, two young men, and a little boy. Perfect!
Men and brethren, the time came for me to open my mouth and my mouth refused to open. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I started asking myself questions like, “How do I even start?” (You’d wonder where all my rehearsals flew to), “What if they don’t listen?” I leaned forward to speak several times but couldn’t open my mouth and we were getting closer to my destination. Time was ticking. Finally, I gave up and started reading Titus 2 again from my Bible looking all righteous and serious with God. Nobody would have guessed the serious struggles that was going on inside me. I told myself I’d be more courageous on my way back and I’d declare the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus with everyone who cared to listen in the bus.
We soon reached town and I went about my business. It was time to return and with boldness I walked to the bus stop. I got into the back seat of an empty bus with all of my heart waiting for it to fill up so I can begin my evangelistic exhortation. I was flipping through the pages of my devotion book and Bible, feeling set on fire for the Lord.
Well, firstly, two old women who probably just finished from a women’s meeting boarded the bus and were talking very loudly in the local dialect. Next, others came in – a woman, her children, and a guy that was on an endless call. Then, the bombshell! The driver started playing very loud highlife music and the children were singing along. There was just so much noise. I didn’t know what to do. I thought to say, “Driver please oh, your music is too loud. I want to say something to these people”. But, I didn’t utter a word. My thoughts said, “Hello everybody, I’d love to share something with you…” I preached the whole sermon in my head without opening my mouth.
I was so sad. I started wishing I shared in the first bus I entered. I thought at least the old ladies would alight so there would be some talking space for me but they didn’t, and they didn’t stop talking either. So when it was time for me to alight, I did so with sadness written all over me.
But I quickly got over the feeling and activated righteous anger at the situation. I couldn’t go back without talking to anybody. So I started talking about Jesus to everybody I passed on the way back. This time, it wasn’t Titus 2 or anything I had studied recently. I just opened my mouth and said whatever came to heart and it made a lot of sense. After the first two people, I started getting specific. It was as if I had previously known the people and the things in their lives. So I went on, talking to person after person till I lost count of the people I had talked to. I was excited. I had a list of people to follow up.
Outside my fear of man and pride (shyness) that stopped me from talking in the buses, I realized that by having it all planned out, I had put the Holy Spirit in a box. I had given him a boundary He wasn’t supposed to step out of. I had told him I could handle it on my own. I was selfish because I wasn’t even bothered with what the people needed, all I wanted to do was create a lasting impression in the bus. It’s like giving fufu to a child with kwashiorkor to prove that one can make good fufu instead of giving the child the required proteins necessary for proper growth. People are God’s children and it is important to Him that they get fed with the right food, not what we want for them but what the Father wants for them.