“So tell Amelia how you left the Baptist Church to become Catholic”
Oh the question that derailed my thinking, my plans, and my life and set it on a course I would have sworn just months earlier I would never have as ‘Destination Rome’ on my life’s ticket.
On a business trip to Washington D.C., over lunch at Union Station with a dear friend and one of her friends I had just been introduced to, my spiritual train ticket became restamped to ‘destination uncertain’ and then finally, ‘destination Rome.’
As I sat back in my chair, arms folded, with a feeling of ‘here we go’, my exit door was given as Meg responded to that fateful question my friend asked with ‘well, okay, but it will take about 20 minutes if you have 20 minutes.’ Good ! Exit door was identified, my eyes peered at my watch to do some quick calculating to see when exactly I could interrupt this ‘fun fest’ and change the subject…in 20 minutes.
After the first two minutes, I stopped looking at my watch and lost track of time, as Meg made the bold statement ‘it was in a Beth Moore Bible Study that led me to the Catholic Church’.
A Beth Moore Bible Study led her to the Catholic Church. Seriously? Somehow, the revered Women’s Bible Study teacher and Conference speaker Beth Moore for the Christians had led her to the Catholic Church. No way ! Nope ! Would never happen. So, in my Baptist mind, I thought ‘well, she just never got it. She never understood God or Jesus and never was truly ‘saved’ or she would not have become Catholic.” But, she was going to accuse and point the finger at one of the most popular and admired Bible Study leaders Christians knew. Now she really had lost her mind, but I was interested.
“After doing the Bible Study, I began to ask myself ‘if God is the same today, yesterday and forever like the Bible says, why don’t the God of the Bible look like the God of my worship today?” she said.
The question ripped through my heart as I had asked myself that same question, only without a very good answer to go with it. But here sat this woman I had just met that same day who had the same questions, the same problems with the Baptist faith I had found, and yet she was offering this wild idea the Catholic Church had the answers. The ’20 minutes’ led into an hour later, we were walking with arms linked like we had known each other forever through Union Station as we talked and made our way back to the car. Somehow I knew, this day had derailed the destination I had been on. However, I was not sure where my original destination was at the time but one thing I knew, I had this deep feeling it just got stamped ‘Rome.’
As we continued to talk in the car as we made our way through D.C. traffic, she told me about how the disciples ‘recognized him in the breaking of the bread.’ She actually quoted the Bible verses ! I quickly pulled out my cell phone, brought up my trusty Bible app, and was eager to show her ‘that’s not in there.’ However, I was proven wrong and saw a verse I swore was never in the Bible, but somehow, there it was. Uh oh. She got me on that one. Now what do I do?
Once the day had finally come to an end and we prepared to depart ways, my head had been spinning with countless Bible verses she had thrown at me that I had never seen before. As the Director and Co-Founder of an International Ministry, as well as a published author and conference speaker myself, I found myself feeling as if I had not known the Bible as well as I thought I had. In fact, in the next 12 month journey from questions to Mass and much more, I found myself quickly on the track to Rome…by way of Union Station.
Twenty minutes changed my life, stamped my ticket to a different destination, and provided a sense of peace and a faith I had never felt before. Twenty minutes turned into 12 months, which pulled up at Destination Rome…..Confirmation.
My challenge and question is, if someone asked you why you are Catholic, why do you believe in the Roman Catholic Church, could you give them a powerful enough answer in 20 minutes that would lead to 12 months of a journey of questions, answers, and conversion? Would your answer, your personal story, your faith, stamp someone’s ticket Destination Rome?