Act Now

This afternoon, I went for a walk to get some lunch. The sun was so amazing – one of those great Seattle fall days that have just the right heat and sun. The thing about the perfect Seattle day is that it is only perfect in the sunlight. The shade is just a bit nippy.

After grabbing lunch, I crossed the street for a quick stop at Starbucks. Starbucks is on the shady side of the street. I exited to door to find a happy little “walk” sign on the crosswalk, but just as I approached the intersection, the magic countdown started – you know, the “you will be road kill in 6, 5, 4…” Only this intersection, which is clearly wide enough to have started at 6, started its countdown at 4. With a pause and a split second decision, I lunged across the intersection, getting to the other side just in time to cross again to the sunny side of the street.

Ever have God interrupt your day? Just as I started across the street toward the sun, God asked me a question.

“What just happened?
“I crossed the street.”
“And…?”
“Well, I had to make a quick decision, and I decided to run for it.”
“How does that apply to life?”

Really? God wants me to contemplate my reality while I’d really love to be basking in the sun? Ugh!

Okay – a bit of self-reflection….
Ah! Then it came to me. Just like I hesitated and almost didn’t cross the road, I realized that I like things to come easy. I don’t like to jump and grab onto an opportunity. I’d like to have the opportunity laid out like a golden brick road.

Then I began to wonder – how many opportunities have I failed to grab because they required me to make a quick decision and jump?

With all deep self-reflection, it is good to look to the Bible for an interpretation. As I crossed the last intersection before my building, I searched the bible mentally, looking for people who God called to take a leap.

The first person I thought of was Gideon. I don’t think setting out fleeces counts as jumping to do what God says, so I started to discount him, but then I remembered the enemy camp. You see, God had his own way of giving Gideon reassurance. In Judges 7:9-11a we read:

 During that night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. 

So God wants to reassure Gideon, so he tells him to go for a stroll through the camp of the people who were burning him in effigy (Kim’s elaborate imagination). I don’t think putting your life in danger is a great way to get encouragement, but listen to what happened:

…He and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp. The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.

Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. “I had a dream,” he was saying. “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”

His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.”

God had something he wanted to show Gideon, and in order to see it, Gideon had to act now. It is kind of like jumping into the intersection just before the countdown ends. Only when God calls you to jump, He will always be on the other side.

Do you like to play it safe?

Maybe you are like me, and prefer a paved road for your future?

What are some ways that you overcome that momentary hesitation and act anyway?

 

Kim Martinez is an ordained AG pastor. She and her husband have four children in the throes of the teen and young adult maelstrom. You can find her online at Deep Imprints and Facebook/kim.martinez looking for ways to laugh, love, and let Jesus shine. 

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