I’m going to tell you something your mamma probably never did: Sometimes, God doesn’t rent a billboard to tell you what to do. He doesn’t always do the light-show-and-thundering-trumpets routine to confirm you’re on the right track.
Sometimes, He just expects you to have read His Words and to do them.
No chubby cherubs dancing in the stars.
No warm fuzzy feelings or great excitement.
No road maps.
Just, “Hey, I already told you what to do if you love me. So…just do that.”
Sometimes, God isn’t very complicated. And it irritates me every time because I kinda prefer the thunder over the still, small voice. I have a distrust of easy when it comes to God. If it’s hard and God is loud, I think I’m doing something right.
But what if the decision is painfully easy, like whether or not to drive through a green light, and God just sits there, riding shotgun, like he expects you to, well, drive?
That’s when I start getting a little obsessive about things. What if he wants me to turn instead of go straight? What if I’m driving too fast or miss a stop or I don’t know where I’m going? What if I don’t like this road? What then?!
And he sits there, half asleep, and says, “Kristen, the light is green.” As if that’s all there is to it.
I much prefer it when God says, “Turn left. Turn LEFT! TURN LEFT!!!”
I think if God is shouting, I won’t get lost. I won’t mess it up. But what if some roads always lead to the right place, and it’s only my selfish will that makes me wander around in the first place?
Which brings me to this past March. Life was under control and my personal comfort level was at an all-time high. I was parked, doing what I thought God wanted and feeling quite good about it.
Then God whispered, “The light is green.”
It shocked me because I didn’t know I was sitting at a light, and I certainly wasn’t planning on driving in that particular direction.
I was asked to consider applying to be the president of the Protestant Women of the Chapel. PWOC, as we call it in the Army, is a weekly gathering of like-minded women of faith who come together to worship, pray, learn, and grow. It’s kind of like a weekly church meeting, complete with music and small group Bible studies.
Groups just like ours meet on military installations all over the world, and we are impacting our posts for Christ wherever we are by being an extension of the chapel communities and assisting the chaplains however we can. We are military women serving military women.
It’s a stinkin’ big deal.
So of course I said, “No way.” I did not have time for one more thing (which, in French means, “This scares me to death, and also, I can think of at least twenty-three people who are more qualified”).
But people kept asking, and they all said the same thing, “Just pray about it. And while you’re praying about it, fill out this ten-page application.”
So I did. I hauled myself home and had my own personal Burning Bush experience, minus the burning bush and double the complaining about why God should pick someone else.
- I already have a ministry!
- I am not organized enough to lead a board of sixteen women!
I am barely organized enough to homeschool (See: 3/5 of my children don’t know how to spell their last name).
- I don’t have an extra 20 hours a week to do anything, and if I did, I’d clean my kitchen. Or teach spelling.
- I haven’t been a military spouse long enough. The only rank I can identify is my husband’s, so I just walk around calling everyone “Sir” just in case. People are going to figure out I don’t know anything.
- I am an introvert. Introverts should have blogs, not be president of a large group of women who might want to have sleepovers and scrapbooking parties.
- People will be disappointed in me. Truly. I’m just not going to look good if I do this. Which will make you look bad too, God. You should think about that.
When I finally gave God a chance to say, “You’re right. You can’t do this,” he didn’t. He didn’t say much of anything. No writing on the wall, no dreams, just that same still, small voice that seemed to say, “Kristen, the light is green.”
Which, in my mind, meant I needed a second opinion.
My husband, who was not much more help than the burning bush, asked, “What are you going to give up?”
“I can’t give anything up!” I said. “I’m not doing this. I can’t do this. I can barely function with everything I have on my plate right now.” I cried a little for good measure because sometimes he offers to do the dishes if I cry about how busy I am.
We had made up our minds. I only prayed about it anyway because I said I would. The more I prayed about it, the more God kept messing with my comfortable, Christian life. I went to PWOC as usual and was overwhelmed with opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ to women who desperately needed it.
I began to see that I was parked at a green light.
That green light kept blinking in time to gospel words that said, This is my body, broken for you. This is my blood, shed for you. Do this in remembrance of me…”
And it slowly dawned on me that perhaps remembering Christ’s sacrifice was more than just eating a hunk of crusty bread and slamming Welch’s shots once a month. Maybe Christ expected me to remember his sacrifice by doing likewise. Actually, physically, with my own hands-and-feet-doing the very things he told me to do. Loving. Feeding. Finding. Shepherding. Giving. Sharing. Binding. Healing. Going. Sending. Praying. Rejoicing. Communing.
Green lights, every one of them.
It was so completely obvious, I missed it.
I was looking for the billboard, the blazing lights, the trumpet-tooting cherubs with Mapquest directions to God’s will. “God! Please show me if you want me to serve these women!” I pleaded, and then wondered why he wasn’t talking.
It’s because the light on that road is always green. I didn’t need a billboard. I just needed to drive through.