I shall never forget those wonderful high school days. Senior class president. Captain of the football team. National Honor Society. Cruising around town with a pretty blonde cheerleader in a bright orange Plymouth Road Runner. Wow--that Jimmy Tanner certainly had it made! As for me, I was voted Most Likely to Prematurely Bald and the cheerleaders used to sneer at my dad's frumpy old Buick.
But even Jimmy Tanner's snobby little pompom slinger was no match for Mindy Ballard. Mindy and I shared two classes: Journalism and Commercial Art. We had ever so much in common; she enjoyed writing and I enjoyed writing. She liked drawing and I liked drawing. She was pretty and I liked drawing. We even had the same initials. Best of all, Mindy Ballard was unencumbered in the steady boyfriend department.
Shyness was my problem. Whenever I attempted speaking with Mindy, my mouth would dry and my voice would squeak while my palms and forehead sweat profusely. I must have come across as Mickey Mouse with the Asian flu. Fortunately, there are those wonderfully perceptive girls who are able to see beyond a timid fellow's bungling clumsiness; too bad Mindy wasn't one of those wonderfully perceptive girls.
I was never quite able to muster the nerve to ask Mindy for a date. There were plenty of opportunities, of course, for we shared classes, but the "right" moment never came. And I could never be sure if she had any mutual interest in me. Mindy was pleasant and cordial whenever we spoke, but that only complicated matters. Had she blushed or giggled or even batted her eyes, I might have found the deep down courage I so desperately needed and asked the girl to a movie. Likewise, had she rolled her eyes or clobbered me over the head with an Algebra textbook, I would have immediately backed off leaving the girl alone. But she did neither. She was pleasant. Merely pleasant. And while I cannot speak for you, I could never make heads or tails out of pleasant. It was most frustrating.
I was due to graduate in late May and that meant I might not see Mindy again. It was now or never. I simply had to ask her for a date. But each feeble attempt at masculine prowess only proved more embarrassing than the one before. I had no confidence. Just a sweaty forehead.
It was the final day of classes and I swore this would be the day I asked Mindy Ballard for a date. If she said no, I reasoned, it would not matter for I would never have to face the girl again, but if she said yes, then all would be well! Drawing a deep breath, I marched boldly into the art classroom. No one was there. Not even the teacher. Most of the students had already called it a day and gone home. I waited. I waited a bit longer and my patience was rewarded. Mindy Ballard shimmered into the classroom. I smiled. She smiled. I said hello. She said hello. And then came that awkward silence. Red-faced and humiliated by my own crippling shyness, I muttered something about getting a running start on summer vacation and bolted out of the classroom and away from Mindy Ballard forever.
I never realized at the time that my inability to make a decision was, in fact, a decision.
Some two thousand years ago, the Apostle Paul delivered the Gospel message to King Agrippa. Paul told the king how he had been trained according to the strict interpretations of the Pharisees and how his religious zeal had fueled a bloody campaign of Christian persecution throughout the region of Jerusalem. Paul then continued his story with a telling of his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus. Next, Paul eloquently explained that all people might be saved through faith in the resurrected Jesus Christ. Paul concluded his testimony with the question, "King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe!" Then Agrippa said to Paul, "You almost persuade me to become a Christian (Acts 26: 27, 28)." Almost?
An "almost" saved sinner remains a lost sinner. There is Heaven and there is Hell and there is no middle ground for the undecided. King Agrippa's inability to make a decision became his decision. The same is true of the countless people who respond to the Gospel by saying, "One of these days, I shall become a Christian! Not today, of course, for I have other matters to consider, but there is always tomorrow!" Where is anyone's guarantee of a tomorrow? As with Agrippa, their inability to make a decision becomes their decision. And a tragic decision it is.
Dr. Michael Blunk is the director of the Christian Paranormal Research Project and a staff writer for Got Questions Ministries.
Dr. Michael Blunk is a staff writer for an apologetics ministry and serves full time as a chaplain with Wayside Christian Mission. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org