Redeeming the Plagues: Part 21
(Aka: Why saying, “But God –” to God – is like the Borg in Star Trek)
My apologies for bringing Star Trek and the Bible together. Especially with the Borg. The Borg are an alien species in the fictional Star Trek universe which assimilate everything and use it to their advantage. Resisting them is pointless… although is has happened in several Star Trek adventures.
In some ways, God dangles our destiny before us like this. He knows we’re afraid of the challenges, don’t know how to get the job done, or even where to begin. Yet, we get caught up in it and find out – Resistance towards God’s plan is futile.
Take Moses for example…. In Exodus chapters 3-4 God has pretty much outlined the game plan and the tools to bust Israel out of captivity and slavery from their Egyptian oppressors. Moses is handed – in every sense of the word – supernatural abilities. Yet when his staff turns into a snake, he runs away.
God could have dropped an entire military next to Moses and said, “Go get ’em, tiger,” and Moses may not have understood. He would have seen the military might, had confidence in it and told them… “Uh… yeah. You… yeah… You. You’re the leader… go… do…. something….”
But God wanted Moses to rely on His power – not conventional military force. Logic would say raise a resistance from inside, using a confident and skilled leader. Instead, God is sending one man who’s protesting that he’s even qualified.
In Exodus 4:13, “But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.””
Folks… its time for a Jesus face palm…
I used to be really jealous of Moses. He gets his destiny told to him in chronological order, is given the tools to get the job done, has the backing of God and he goes off and rescues a whole bunch of people. Yay! And then the people are stupid, don’t obey God and end up marching around the desert for 40 years like my experience getting lost in New Jersey, and West Virginia…. and on my way to orthodontists’ office 20 minutes from my house. (In my defense with the orthodontist experience, I didn’t want to go and the directions on the postcard were wrong.)
And again… Sunday school simplification failed me.
In my naivety I told God that if he confronted me like Moses and told me what to do to reach my destiny, that I’d be willing to go after it. I was a young teenager at the time.
Then I lived a Burning Bush style incident – years later – and deserve a whole spam box full of Jesus face palms for my reaction.
For over a decade I have had a topic on my heart which I’ve wanted to write about. Its important to Christianity and our impact as individuals on the planet before we die or get beamed up into Heaven during the Rapture.
I tried a few times, gave up and moved on. I always sounded angry and a bit like General George Patton. “All right you stinkin’ measly, whiny-butt Christians – here’s what’s gonna happen and here’s how its gonna go down. Shape it up for Christ! On the double! LEFT! RIGHT! LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT!”
That really wasn’t that attitude I wanted to have. In fact, I was rather intimidated because the vast majority of Christian writing is so…. nice.
“Dear one, I want to gather you to my heart, because there is something stirring deep in my soul which I feel I must share with you, and God has pressed it upon me to speak to you, dear one so that God may work in each of us… sparkle, sparkle, rainbow lolly-pops, sheep and unicorns, Jesus saves! AWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!”
Then God brought it back and plopped it in my face like Indy confronting the cobra. My expression was pretty much the same too. (Minus the stubble – my nose is cuter as well.)
And my words… “Someone else should do this. Someone more qualified.”
God clears throat and cracks his knuckles – and whaps me with the issue again. Its like seeing a phone book come out of nowhere and land right in front of you. You’re not sure who threw it – but dang! Projectile phone book scared you and made the paperclips fall out of your desk and scattered the papers of your current project.
“But Lord – I can’t write a book.”
(The spiritual reaction was to point to my short story collection and the soon to be released World War II and Cold War spy novel Red Trouble.)
“Ok. But Lord – that was FICTION!”
I get whapped with the issue a third time. And I start complaining to one of my female friends.
She’s an author too. She got interested in the topic and said, “Write the book!”
I stare heavenward and let out a groan. It was not a heavenly Holy Spirit groan, but more like, “I don’t need more freakin’ things to do – my life is whacky enough! And I’m not even in a relationship with any other human being! Life isn’t supposed to be this complicated until you get married and spawn! I read it on the back of every Christian relationship book I ever picked up and threw away! It must be true!!!!!”
(Oops. Did I say that out loud?)
“But Lord – I’ve never been to a Christian college. I can’t write this!”
Pause. And God reminds me of the experiences I’ve had with people who have been to a Christian college.
Me: Oh. Yeah. Thaaaat. Them. Ugh. Uh… yeah… no. There’s no way they could even begin to think about writing the book you’ve put on my brain. It would scare them.
A few months later – Its starting to become clear, I do need to write the book. Yet, God and I had to have a few more conversations of prayer and whining before I committed to the project.
My final response… “Ok. Fine, Lord. Since I can’t sleep. Grrrr.”
As the evidence starts mounting that I should write the book which God placed on my brain, its like watching phone books be dumped on your desk – while you’re trying to work.
You don’t really know who decided that your desk was the place to send unwanted phone books, and you’d really just like to move on with your life – but people keep coming by and giving you phone books. That giant whumpping noise and the inability to see over the phone book pile as each person drops them off is slowly hemming you in… until you can’t even reach over the top of all the phone books and you can’t begin to get to the other work you want to do.
It took about six times of whapping, the threat of projectile phone books and confrontational prayer – but I’m writing the book.
And I have a great viewpoint – because I’m sitting on top of this giant, crazy, nearly sky-high pile of phone books.
I suppose its a little like a burning bush. I mean, phone books are made out of paper… and paper is made from trees….
Be careful. God answers prayers. Even from whiners….
I have to go write another book now.
And I’ll be continuing with my blog – on top of all this.
Bible verses from Bible Gateway.