I'm going to tell you about something that happened to me at roughly 10:15am this morning on my way to Living Waters. (It's another one of those stories where I could easily be considered crazy for telling it. But according to Mick, the worst that could happen would be for me to merely be considered "Crazy-ER"...and that's not so bad I suppose.)
But first, CONTEXT! You can't properly understand anything if you don't know the context in which it's written. So here goes...
About three days of gloomy & overcast weather will always start to put the "Zap" on my head. Any more days than that and it can slowly start to trigger my depression. Well, up here in the Northland, we have had SEVEN straight days of crappy weather. To make matters worse, my uncle & aunt are in town and everyone is at the cabin. I'm all excited because I finally have two days in a row off, and I will finally get to see them, go fishing with Dad & the uncle, and just generally relax for a while.
Needless to say, the weather did not cooperate. In fact, Thursday night, a storm came in that sounded like artillery shells going off outside my boathouse window. (This same boathouse was the subject of a lightening strike that blew out the windows, sending glass shards into everything in the room a few years ago.) So, I'm obviously feeling very safe & secure as I pull those covers tightly around me. The next morning I was a Zombie. And naturally, there was no fishing.
I won't bore you with all the details, but my mood was not the best. In fact, it is times like these where my darker nature seems to take hold, and I can be very stupid. The kicker came yesterday when I had hoped to attend an outdoor concert to see Third Day & Matthew West. The weather ruined that too. So last night I was not my best.
On the bright side, I took a book by John Eldredge out to the cabin called Walking with God. In it, he writes about how to hear God's voice in everyday matters. http://www.walkingwithgod.net/ I've really been trying to meditate on the advice he offers, and in fact, the first chapter really hit me. Eldredge wrote about being stuck at his own cabin in the rain, unable to do any of the work he hoped to accomplish. It dawned on him after a bit that the storm was God's way of pinning him down to get his attention. (Yeah, I'm guessing you see the parallels to my own situation.)
Eldredge wrote about how often, when we talk to God (Or, my "Imaginary Friend" as Richard Dawkins refers to him.) we ask for grandiose answers to life's most complex questions. He says that this is not the best approach to hearing God's voice. My old therapist said that God speaks & reveals things to those he knows he can trust. So Eldredge advises training yourself to listen for the "Gentle Whisper" or "Still, small voice," like Elijah heard on Mount Horeb.
So, Thursday evening, in between showers, I took a long walk out at the cabin and just tried to be really honest with YHWH. It felt really good. (I need to talk out loud when I pray. So it's handy that this was a Thursday, and there really weren't any other people at their cabins. Rubber rooms don't strike me as being much fun.) I told him what I was thankful for, all of the blessings that he has given me. I told him that I was sorry for being such a whiner most of the time. I prayed for numerous friends, some Believers, some not...yet. Then I told him that I wasn't going to ask him to answer any questions. Instead, I asked God to choose the subject, and to make it loud enough for it to actually seep in between the cottage cheese between my ears. The only stipulation I gave was that I would like it with in the next 24 hours.
...and that's where I went wrong.
You don't put conditions on the Creator of All. You come to God on his terms, never your own. It's not out of arrogance or anything like that. It's merely the fact that YHWH is a lot bigger than we are, and quite a few notches smarter than we are. So, he probably knows best, don't ya think?
So anyway, I heard nothing.
The fact of the matter was...and far too often IS, that I don't really want to hear his voice. There are a variety of reasons behind that at any given time. But the fact was that at that time I was being selfish, and feeling very much sorry for myself due to the circumstances of the past days. Again, I heard nothing.
The Main Event.
So last night I was not at my best. I woke up this morning feeling just plain grimy & dirty. I just hate my old, sinful nature. I hate the fact that I will have to deal with it until I die. It feels like my soul has been dumped on by British Petroleum, and I'm flopping like a Pelican on a goopy beach.
So all this morning, especially in the shower and on the drive down to Living Waters, I am repenting and asking the Holy Spirit to just wash over me and make me feel clean again. I mean, it is fine to understand the Objective reality of having been made righteous by Jesus. But seriously, we often don't feel it Subjectively. I certainly didn't feel it this morning, and I really needed to.
Well, about the time I was making the turn where Hwy. 35E connects with Hwy. 35W, I reach for my car stereo. I was going to listen to a bit of a podcast I had asked my friend Damon to listen to that very morning via FaceBook. I knew that I had it loaded up, or so I thought.
I'm poking through the CDs that I had loaded up, and all of a sudden my "Summer Mix" CD loads up. What starts pouring into my ears but the following words...(Paraphrazed)
"Well, it's been building up inside of me for oh I don't know how long.
I don't know why but I keep thinking something's bound to go wrong.
But she looks in my eyes,
and makes me realize when she says, "
Don't worry, Baby.
Everything will turn out all right.
Don't worry, baby.
Just take along my love with you.
And if you knew how much I love you,
nothing could go wrong with you.""
Yep! The Beach Boys singing "Don't worry, baby."
I kid you not, it was at that moment that the sun poked through the clouds for only two minutes...right there across from the Buck Hill ski area & that Honda dealership. When the song was over, the sun went away too.
I started laughing & crying at the same time. (Always a wise idea while driving the freeway.) I also felt really, really clean again.
If you really need me to explain the significance of the above lyrics, I would advise two things. #1. Read the context & lyrics over and over until you Get It. #2. If that doesn't help, find a sturdy & solid wall and begin trying to burrow a hole into it with you forehead. Hard, pounding thrusts are the most effective.
You can call me crazy-ER, but that was God speaking to me...and exactly what I needed to hear. Furthermore, YHWH used the perfect means & methodology to tell me that his love for me is a lot bigger than I usually give him credit for. The best, and frankly, the most effective part to the whole affair was that he used humor to get my attention.
I know that there are people out there who think that God is either in a perpetual bad mood, or that God is simply very stoic and severe. But such thoughts will not measure up to Scripture. They simply won't. The Trinity, the God-Head, the Father, Son & Holy Spirit have the perfect sense of humor...and they are not above using it to get the attention of a doofus such as myself.
I know that Brian Wilson wrote "Don't worry, Baby" in the hopes that crazy Phil Spector would have the Ronettes record it back in the early 60s. He wasn't thinking of me, that's for sure. Still, the Bible itself has story after story of the God of the Universe using common, everyday things to get people's attention. In fact, in Acts 17:28, Paul quotes pagan poets to make a point about the one, true God...and now that pagan poetry is a part of Scripture. So I personally don't have an issue with God using the Beach Boys. (If you do, argue with him, not me.)
And that is my true story from this morning. Ta da!
Well, I suppose it wouldn't be fair to end here and not include the song itself. It is a fun video, so enjoy. (It also makes me wonder about what Jesus would be like to hang out with at the beach. I'm guessing that he could do the Monkey or the Mashed Potato as well, if not better, than most. I would also suppose that when it came to surfing, he was most likely a "Goofy Foot.")
Peace...and catch a wave!