At the little college* from which I graduated in Texas they'd call what I
need to do here a "good bull" session. For the uninitiated this means getting
to the heart of the matter. Simply put, I have a punctuation peculiarity.
It all has to do with an asterisk. That's right, that
funny-looking-little-star-like mark. It tells readers when there's more
information at the bottom of the page that wasn't important enough to burden
them with in the main section of a document.
I was born in the year of the asterisk. Baseball fans know that's 1961.
Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961 to break Babe Ruth's single-season home run record. Ruth's
legend had grown so strong that an asterisk** was inserted by Maris' name in
the record book. It told that Maris played in more games in 1961 than Ruth did
the year he hit 60.
In addition to my birth year, my life has an asterisk at many points. I was
the youngest newspaper editor in Texas, not ever, just at the time I was
editing that particular paper.
I played on a college football team that won a national championship--the
year I left the team. Actually that one has two asterisks because that's not
the college from which I graduated.
There are many others, but at the risk of boring you with self-indulgent
personal trivia, suffice it to say, asterisks are special to me. That's why I
think my "on missionness" has an asterisk. This asterisk is fairly easy to
explain. I need accountability. In keeping with the theme of this issue, the
discovery of my personal fit for sharing my faith came from going to jail. We
probably need another asterisk here. No, I wasn't in jail. I was there to share
my faith with the unfortunate ones who found themselves on the confining side
of the bars.
The first person I led to faith in Christ was in a jail. I found that having
a partner and an appointed time to go share my faith with non-Christians helped
keep me on mission. As I've lived this life, the more accountability I've had,
the better I've done staying in the game. Let's hear it for accountability.
Helping Christians be on mission is what this magazine is all about. That's
why my own "on missionness" gives me pause. Looking in the mirror I question
whether the one staring back is really a player. I'm not talking about
comparison here. Believe me, working with "professional" evangelists would make
almost any saint shrink back. The question isn't, "What is she doing?" it's,
"What am I doing?" I can't seem to get away from asking, "Have I told someone
about Christ lately?"
In that light, you'll find ways to help you find your fit for sharing Christ
with others in this issue. I encourage you to take advantage of the ways others
have become on mission. If you've found your fit, please share it with us on
our Reader Forum on page 13. We'll share your ideas in future issues and
continue to help other Christians find their fits.
As for me, it's going to mean setting a more ambitious goal for sharing my
faith with others. My accountability group will soon be empowered to bring
sufficient pressure to make sure I continue putting the gospel where my mouth
* For the record, my alma mater is Texas A&M University.
** Actually, there was never a real asterisk in the record book. Maris had
to share space with Ruth. Ruth's name was removed a few years ago. Mark
McGwire, and later, Sammy Sosa, broke Maris' record in September of this
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