But what I want to tell you about is what happened during my morning walk and the lesson I learned from it.
OK, so there I was walking along, looking as bad as I usually do, wearing wrinkled clothes and hair rollers, chatting on the phone with my friend, Crima, just as I do most mornings. I was traveling my regular route when I decided to detour and go outside of my community and onto the street. I do this from time to time, though I hadn’t done it recently due to the noise. Anyway, on yesterday, I took to the street.
Shortly after I got on the street, I saw a car stalled on the other side of the road and I heard a woman call out to me. She said that her tire had blown and she didn’t have her cell phone and she asked to use mine. Of course I immediately ended my call with Katrina and allowed her to use my phone. This woman’s name was Nicole.
I must have stood there with Nicole for about 15 minutes as she called number after number. It appeared to me that several of her calls were going unanswered, but occasionally I would hear her actually speaking with someone.
She later told me that she had been calling family members who weren’t answering because they didn’t recognize the number dialing them. That hit home for me because I’m quite guilty of that. If I don’t recognize the number, I oftentimes don’t pick up. So I made a mental note to change that behavior.
But you know me, I’m always looking for a deeper meaning for things, and here’s what I got from this situation…
I think we sometimes get the call to do something -- or not to do something -- but for a variety of reasons, we don’t “pick up.”
Maybe we don’t recognize the number. In other words, we know that a message is coming through, but we can’t believe that the particular person calling us to deliver the message has anything important or worthwhile to say to us. So we ignore them without recognizing the fact that God can use any person or situation to get a message through to us. Consider the story of Paul and how unlikely of a man he was to become one of God’s greatest messengers. He was used to “call” churches all over to share the Gospel and to help them sort through their questions and deal with their difficulties. (Acts 9)
We question the timing. “Who could be calling me now?” we ask ourselves. “Don’t they know it’s early?” “Don’t they know I’m busy?” We may think that the message is valid, but feel that we just can’t think about it or act upon it right now, totally ignoring the fact that God’s timing is not our timing. But, God’s timing is always right on time, just ask Lazarus. (John 11)
We worry that the call could result in us doing something that makes uncomfortable, without recognizing the fact that God is with us in those different and unfamiliar territories. Think about how God kept and allowed Joseph when he was in the palace interpreting dreams. He was in a new place with people who were not his own, yet he prospered and was rewarded for this steadfastness. (Genesis 41)
We’re not sure if our response will be appropriate. In other words, we’re afraid that we may fail. But instead of harboring these feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy, we should reflect upon the story of Moses and how he thought God must have been kidding when He wanted to use him. After all, Moses had a speech impediment, how could God expect him to speak in high places. But God made a way for Moses to get his profound messages across without saying a word. (Exodus 4)
During the time I spent with Nicole she kept telling me what a blessing I’d been to her -- but the fact of the matter is that she was also a blessing to me. The few moments we spent together really gave me something to think about.
I need to answer the phone.
May we all have the courage to pick up when we get the call.
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