I was thinking back on my life some today and was actually feeling good about it. It might have been the nice server girl at the ice cream place who I wonder if she was trying to flirt with me or just a lot of good things I’ve been hearing lately or my upcoming move to Seminary with a good friend of mine. I thought back on how I got where I am.
I remember being in Bible College and not knowing a thing about apologetics but wanting to witness to atheists on the net. Well, the first major work I consider that started me down the path was Lee Strobel’s “Case for Christ.” Is it any wonder this is the first work I recommend people start with? Then I read Case for Faith shortly after that.
In Case for Faith, I read the fifth interview being with a man named Ravi Zacharias. I was quite impressed with his argumentation style and soon found a book by him called “Jesus Among Other Gods.” I read that book and was immediately hooked on Ravi Zacharias’s style. “Can Man Live Without God?” came soon thereafter and before too long, I was listening to every radio broadcast of Ravi Zacharias and reading everything he wrote.
So when Christmas of 2001 came around and my parents wanted to know what I wanted, what could I tell them but my dream? I want to meet Ravi Zacharias. Now my Dad is not a man with a lot of contacts or anything, but what Dad will not try to make his son’s dream come true?
So on April 24, 2002, my Dad and I head to Atlanta, GA. (I think the Bible College understood my absence.) I went down and met his staff including writer Paul Copan, whose books I have also read and I highly recommend. I remember waiting at the end of a hallway though and seeing a door and knowing who was behind that door.
And then it opened and my dream came true.
Ravi was incredibly kind and I knew I was in the presence of a saint. He really lives what he believes. He answered questions and we discussed some. He was going to give me all of his books, but I already had them, so he signed them. Then, he gave me several CDs and a video tape of Jesus Among Other Gods and ended with a prayer.
I have spoken to Ravi some since then. It is never long, but I thought about him a lot tonight. Ravi is one of my great heroes now and if there is any apologist I want to follow in the footsteps of, it is Ravi. There are many sermons where I will give reference to Ravi Zacharias as a source for something. I think my speaking style is not the same as his and I deeply admire his passion.
Why do I say this? Because for one, I wanted to give a public thank you, and I really hope that he gets to read this someday. If you get to read it Ravi, you have been a hero in my life who has helped to change me for the better. You are a large part of why I am where I am today.
I hope someday if I haven’t already, that I will be able to influence someone like you did me. You showed me good Christian thinking in a unique way no one else has. Oh there are several great Christian thinkers out there, but there was something about your style that I just latched on to.
I also realize that many times in ministry, you don’t get thanks. I wanted to be sure you got it. I want to thank you greatly for all that you do and if you are ever tempted to give up, please remember that there is one life at least that has been encouraged to go out and change the world because of you.
As for readers here, maybe you should go out and find that one person who’s been a major encouragement to you. Maybe it was a teacher back home or maybe a family member or a friend or neighbor or co-worker. Is there someone who has been a major influence for the good in who you are today?
Why not give them a call or write a letter or email them? You might just give them a smile that keeps them going and changes their world as well.