Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Direct Encounter of Sorts

She came bounding up to our team in Atlanta.   Petite and grinning.   Her name was Stacy
and she worked for 410 Bridge.    What struck me most about her that day, aside from
her warm spirit  (obvious right away) was that she had packed for a trip to Africa
in one small carry on bag!!

Me with Stacy Williams, Mobilization Manager for 410 Bridge.

I still have no idea how she did it!   But while she was obviously
traveling light to Kenya, she had the biggest Bible I've ever seen in her arms!   The
essentials. Her small carry on.    And the word.   This woman that  I would travel with and
grow to love  over the next ten days obviously made a priority out of having God's word
with her.

I have to tell you.

I've lived out many years of my life with only a passing interest in God's word.  

For many years.    It was something I "thought" I should do, but not something I wanted,
 necessarily, to do.  Any  reading of the Bible that I did was strictly "hit or miss."   I didn't
see my Bible as really  "relevant" in my life.  It was old.      It was history.  It did hold
wisdom, but it didn't have anything really to do with my day to day life.   Not really.

Well, that was true until I had a direct encounter of sorts.

The first time it happened, I had just started my sophomore year of college at USC.  
I was homesick.   I was in a long distance relationship (with Scott.)    I was unhappy
with  my "latest" major.   Yeah.   Going from  the very different fields of commercial art
to criminal justice in the span of a few months is not an  indication that you have real
direction in your life.   I had come to USC only because I  wanted to major in Art.
Now that I had changed from Art to something else,  what the heck  was I still there for?  
I was about three  or four weeks into the semester looking for a way out.

Surprisingly, my passing interest in my faith did include a Bible.     My desperation led me
to open it one morning while I was struggling with the decision  to make a change.    It
certainly wasn't something I did very often, but that day I remember feeling like I had to
have an answer.    As it I opened my bible, this is exactly what I read:

"...Now swallow your pride: 
go and beg to have your name erased.
Don't put if off; do it now!
Don't rest until you do.
Save yourself like a gazelle escaping from a hunter,
like a bird fleeing from a net..."   Proverbs 6: 3-5.

Are you kidding me?!?    Yes.    That's exactly the passage I turned to as I was literally
begging God for an answer to my situation.

So, what did I do?

Man.    I sprung out of my dorm room like I had wings!     I didn't stop to call my mom.
I didn't stop to talk to Scott.    I didn't even discuss it with my roommate.     I went to the
appropriate office on campus and officially "withdrew" from college.    When the deed
was done, only then did I call my mom to tell her to come and pick me up.   Before the
sun went down that day,  I had moved all of my things into her car and headed for home.

That whole experience showed me something at a young age.    God responds when we
seek Him. He also showed me that His word is..... Relevant to what I'm facing.    I have
to tell you.    There's hardly a morning that I get up and spend time reading my bible that
He doesn't speak directly to a situation that I'm facing.

It doesn't matter what book of the Bible I'm reading.   New Testament.    Old Testament.
It speaks to me.  It's relevant.   It gives me hope, encouragement and life.

"People are like grass;
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
But the word of the Lord remains forever."

1 Peter 1:  24-25.

(And.....p.s.  not wanting to be a proponent of quitting school, I transferred to Clemson
the following semester, graduated & married my sweetie...and the rest as they still
being written...)

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