I had a 40 minute conversation with a complete stranger a few months ago that’s been popping back in my mind for the past 3 weeks. I don’t know why, so I’m going to share it…
A guy in his 40s, who I’ve never seen or met before, started a conversation with me. He seemed friendly, and I could tell he didn’t just want to talk about the weather. We started talking about life, career choices, financial decision making, and travel (deep stuff lol). He then goes “see I wish the millennials would get that.” Then he goes on and on about how millennials are shallow, and greedy, and irresponsible, and lazy, and on and on and on.
When he was done, I smiled and responded, “I’m a millennial”. If you could see the look of shock on his face… almost like he couldn’t tell if he just offended me, or if I was joking.
Him: “but you don’t act like one or speak like one.”
Me: “I used to be everything you described about millennials, but I learned a whole lot in my 20s, and I’m still dealing with the consequences of some of my decisions.”
Him: “What changed it for you?”
Me: “Do you really want to know?” (The response I always give when I’m about to give an unpopular answer.)
Me: “Jesus!” I go on to share all the ways being part of a bible teaching church changed me, and the impact having a life on life mentor. I shared my “before & after” on the topics we were discussing and told him what my mindset used to be when it came to career choices, financial decisions, etc.
Him: Still in shock – “I’ve heard a lot of people’s stories about Jesus, but yours is the most authentic I’ve ever heard. You need to write a book or start speaking to other millennials.” (He believed in Jesus as a historical figure.) He goes on to ask me what bible teaching church I attend, and how he can get mentored.
He was headed to Greece that afternoon, and before our conversation ended, he handed me $20 and said this was the best conversation he’d had in a very long time. I don’t know if I’ll ever see this stranger again (I don’t even remember his name), but the 40 minutes was a blessing to the both of us.
A few of my takeaways from this day:
1) Don’t be afraid to share your story – especially when asked.
2) Jesus changes everything.
3) We can’t make blanket statements about a person (positive or negative) based on the generation they were born into.
4) “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” – 1 Peter 3:15.
5) Sometimes it’s great to entertain conversations with strangers!