The Bowler

Bowling balls

“Hi, what’s your name?” I asked, as I extended my hand to the man in the truck.

“Chuck,” he smiled warmly and shook my hand.

It was time for our annual termite inspection. I always chat with the man who comes out, to see if we can talk about spiritual things. We’ve had a different inspector the past few years, so I get an annual opportunity to witness to these men.

I quickly found out that this near-sixty Southern gentleman attended a church near ours.

“It’s gotten too big, though,” he admitted. “I feel like a number.”

“Do you have a small group you can go to?”

“Oh, I bowl professionally every other Sunday so we have extra income for things we want to buy,” he excused himself. “My wife says I need to get my priorities straight.” He went on to explain how his bowling schedule would be busier in December.

“You must be very good.”

“I am,” he beamed.

Chuck went on with his inspection and I prayed for God’s guidance. I immediately sensed that I should give him a copy of Randy Alcorn’s The Treasure Principle. I had several copies in the house for gift-giving to specific people. I didn’t believe and didn’t act on that impression.

Chuck came back for me to sign his “paperwork” electronically, then he said out-of-the-blue, “I wish I could talk more, but the office doesn’t want us talking about religion. You know. . . They don’t want people calling in and complaining.” He excused the company for this policy, then pointed to his heart, “After all, it’s what in your heart that’s important. Right?”

He surprised me because I thought we had a good conversation for the short time we had. I guess he was uncomfortable about talking further. (Maybe I’ll write another post some day on what I think about the “gag order” from his company.)

Of course, looking back, I see a number of directions I could’ve gone with our conversation:

  • I could have talked about God’s command in Hebrews 10: 24 – 25 that we should meet together regularly with believers, but he might have said he “has to bowl” for the income.
  • Maybe we could have talked about how to know what God’s priorities are for a Christian, if he was comfortable that he would be “permitted” to let me talk with him.
  • I would love to encourage Christians who are under “gag orders” but it didn’t seem to be a problem to him.

So, what would you have said to Chuck? How do you witness to someone who is “not allowed” to talk to you on company time? How do you help Christians who want to witness, but are restricted by company policies?

I know what I need to do. God clearly showed me when I prayed about it. Tony (our mailman), Chuck, and another inspector, Marco, are all Christians (or, at least, profess to be). I’m going to mail each of them a copy of The Treasure Principle as a “thank you for your service” Christmas gift.


  • The Treasure Principle is especially appropriate during our hard economic times. I highly recommend reading and re-reading it. You’ll be blessed to learn God’s principles so you might honor Him with the finances, possessions, time, and talents He has given into your care.
  • The photo of bowling balls is in the public domain on Wikimedia Commons.

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