Let’s say the phone rang, and God was on the other end:
Riiiing-Riiiiing! (Apparently my phone is from the 80’s).
God: “Hello, my beloved child. This is God.”
You: “That’s not funny, Earl. Stop being a putz.”
God: “I just talked to Earl; he says ‘Hey.'”
You: “Still not funny, Earl.”
God: “I remember your bad perm from the 7th grade. Do you believe me now?”
You: “Half of Allegan remembers my bad perm in the 7th grade. This hardly proves anything.”
God, dropping his voice to a whisper: “Sh-sh-mu-shhssshhh, I saw all that, shs, mmmyyooo, shss.”
You: “OH, Father! So good of you to call! What can I do for you?”
God: “I have a new project for you. Here is the very vague concept. You’ll get the details when I feel like it.” (God proceeds to give you a vision you neither want nor think is possible.)
You: Silence falls as you thud to the floor in a dead faint.
It could happen, you know. God calls all the time, giving us a new direction in life. Sometimes it’s a small, still voice in the back of our minds. Sometimes He jumps out through the written Word as we read the Bible. Sometimes it comes from circumstances, like an unexpectedly positive pregnancy test at the worst possible time, or a job loss that initiates a string of events, or even a phone call.
I have a funny story about that pregnancy test. Well, I mean, it will be funny eventually. It’s still too soon.
Don’t worry, I’m not pregnant. But for two days in October I really thought I was and I kid you not– I was nearly having an out-of-body experience from the anxiety. I was sitting at a light in my van and felt like I was floating above it.
Do you know the things that would have to change if I was indeed pregnant at 38 years old? We have no baby things. Our house is the worst possible arrangement for a baby, unless that wee thing would be sleeping in our closet. We are big fans of sleeping all night and I simply cannot bear one more round of being a parent volunteer in a kindergarten class. Can. Not. Do. It. Again.
And let’s not forget our little experience a few weeks ago, when I accidentally applied for a job in Dallas. Does the job line up perfectly with my gifts and ministry desires? Yes.
Does anything else line up, at all? Even a little bit? No. I was pretty terrified that God’s new plan involved radical change to a state that has scorpions.
I heard back from that ministry, by the way. The editor sent a very kind and encouraging email after a couple of days. He’d even read my blog post about the whole ordeal and could relate, since he’d left a good job in the secular world to move to that ministry himself. He said that if I was local they’d have me come in for an interview, but he wasn’t sure that was what our family wanted.
So, in other words, he left it hanging wide open.
I politely replied, leaving it hanging wide open myself. Something along the lines of “We’ll pray about this.”
As we were getting ready for bed a few days later, Eric turned out the light and said, “Maybe this was just a trial run for something that’s coming next.”
“Mrmph.” I said, because I was already half asleep and the idea that this could just be a trial run left me without words.
And now we’ve reached the meat of this blog post. What if it wasn’t a trial run, but the real thing? What if God was really handing us our next assignment? What would we have to do to get ready?
Well, if I was pregnant we’d need all the baby paraphernalia, a permanent spot on the prayer chain, and probably a nanny. We’d have to stop drinking wine on Saturday nights and planning another trip to Italy.
If we were moving to Dallas we’d have to sell two houses, pay off a van, convince the children this was a fun idea and they wouldn’t miss their friends at all, and remember how to live on beans and rice again.
We’re far from ready for any new plans from God. We’re traveling heavy, packed to the gills with things we own and relationships we aren’t ready to sever. But at least we know that now, and we can work to clear that up. Because I’m pretty sure that missing out on God’s adventure because we aren’t ready is a terrible way to live.
How about you? If the call came today, what would you need to do?