My longtime readers will remember the little book cabin in the middle of nowhere (Childs, NY) made from a 1909 voting booth. You know, the place Tom and I drive through the countryside to visit sometimes. Well, actually, he sits in the car and reads the local paper from the shop nextdoor while I peruse the shelves. I'm nearly always the only person inside the silent, dusty cabin.
Anyway, on Monday we drove out there again, first time this year perhaps, and my eyes bulged when I beheld the boxes of un-put-away books upon the floor. I dived into them and found five books for myself, smiling like a Cheshire cat. Then when I stepped to the metal can in which to place my quarters--hardback books are 50 cents--suddenly the Holy Spirit whispered, "Put in $5, instead."
I started to argue, "But that's double of what I owe," and then I stopped. When God tells me to do a thing, I know by now that it's useless to give Him excuses. Or to try to change His mind. So I dropped in the $5 bill, stepped outside of the cabin and felt terrific.
Sounds like such a tiny thing, I realize that. But you know? I don't believe obedience to God is ever a small thing. Obedience always matters, that is, if we want to grow.
It's an awful thing to be stuck in--and because of--disobedience. We too often want what we think we want and that is what trips us up and smack dab into dark ditches of sadness.
God says, "Forgive that person for hurting your feelings," and we tell Him ten reasons why we shouldn't have to do that.
God says, "Leave some of your beliefs behind," and we gasp and say, "But I've always believed those things!"
He tells us to stop nagging our husband and we give him twenty reasons why, if we stop nagging him, he will fall apart--and so will the whole world.
He tells us that, until we do or give-up this one thing, He can take us no deeper in faith, in ministry, in peace of mind, and we think, "You certainly can't be serious, can you?"
All those no's to God add up. They add up to no growth, no change and no happiness.
Today, let's all say yes... and see what happens.
Here are the books I found at the cabin:
Just Shy of Harmony by Philip Gulley
Family Ties That Bind and Gag by Erma Bombeck
Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton
I Grew Up Little by Patsy Clairmont
And a book about the Southwest for Tom :)
Those first four books are perfect for this time in my life. Just perfect.