Saturday, April 09, 2005

Of God University and Umbrellas

Meg asked which classes I have taken at God University... Here is another one.

(It will help if you remember that 10 years ago I was the shyest woman on Earth.)

Soon after Coming When Called 101, I took Instant Obedience 201. In that class you learn how reasoning can talk you out of obeying the simple, clear voice of God.

An example: One misty day while I strolled through a local national park, I saw a small family walking toward me. The two children looked happy, but the father did not because his wife appeared to be complaining about walking in the rain without an umbrella. She looked pretty unhappy about getting her nice clothes and hair damp.

Quickly they were approaching me and then I heard a voice within me say, "Hand your umbrella to the mother."

Oh my... They were walking toward me so fast and the reasoning began. "But Lord! What if she tells me she doesn't want it?" I thought to myself. "What if she says 'No thank-you' and I look silly? And besides, won't I have to cut my walk short and go home? This is the only umbrella I have. And what if I'm just imagining that you want me to do this, yet it's just me? What if they don't speak English?" (People from foreign countries visit here often.) "What if I frighten them, or something? "

Oh good grief.

Well, in the time it took to for me to ask those questions, the family walked past me and immediately I felt the stab of disobedience. I knew I had reasoned away a blessing and I felt dreadful. I told God, "You should have told me sooner so I could've gotten used to the idea!"

He said, "No, you should have just obeyed me sooner."

Don't you just hate it when God is right? Well, anyway, I asked Him to give me another chance to bring up the grade I had received on that test. He never did give me another opportunity to give away my umbrella--that would have been too easy, I suppose. But He's given me hundreds of chances since then for instant obedience to that still, small voice.

The tests get easier when you understand what's going on. They get more exciting, too, after you've tasted the joy of obedience and seen the President of your university use you to do courageous things you never, ever could have done without Him.

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