“Hey dad, what is deja vu?” Alright, I see the quest for the most random questions continues for my children. When my two oldest boys (7 & 5) asked me that, I immediately wanted to know where they heard it and why they cared to know about it. I mean, isn’t this just something people experience and really can’t explain? Or, I know, I will say, “Haven’t we talked about this before, I get the sense that we have.” But, since they didn’t know what deja vu meant, they wouldn’t get it. So, instead, they just stare at me waiting for my insightful answer. I really had nothing to help them, so I just chuckled at them. Their response was to start using the phrase in sentences. “Hey, deja vu.” “I’m not a deja vu, you are.” Then my 2-year-old chimed in with his own version of it. His pronunciation of this was like he was putting three different words together – “Day Lab Blue” Of course, that made them all laugh at each other and continue to use it in other ways that made no sense.
Whether or not I can explain it to my young kids, or not, I know I love deja vu in ministry. When this is experienced it means that something taught in the past has made a connection. The fact that it is being brought to mind, even if they don’t know why, is the obvious work of God in them. It is amazing when someone in the youth group mentions a specific topic, scripture, or story that was shared during youth group.
What is even funnier to me is when these moments come on a retreat or at a conference. Often times we will be at a retreat and the speaker will talk about something that had very recently been taught during youth group. Often someone will come to me and say, “Wow, I feel like I heard that before, but it really made sense today.” In my mind, I am thinking, “Yes, you heard it last week at youth group from me, remember.” It could be easy to take on that mindset, but that is not what is important. God is working in that person’s life.
Everyday any sort of desire for personal recognition needs to be set aside. I want to do my part, as small or large as that may be, to proclaim the truth of His Word with people. If the people who hear it from me don’t remember it was me, that is fine. After all, this message is not about anything I have said, or stories I have told, or object lessons I have taught, but about what God has said. It is about taking the unchanging message of the Gospel and sharing it with whomever God lets me share it with. That way when someone says, ‘Have I heard this before?’, they can be directed to the Bible for the answer. “Yes, you have and this before and this is where you heard it from.” That has an eternal impact because it is God’s power and not a work of man.
“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” – 1 Corinthians 2:4-5