Sunday, January 31, 2010

Obedience Doesn't Have to be Fun

"We can do this the easy way or the hard way; it's up to you." My version of God's message about obedience

"Whoa, Nellie," I said to my husband. "Slow this trail ride down." Not enjoying where the conversation was headed, I was hoping we could change the subject or at least agree to disagree.

"When my dad retires in a few months, I really need you to step in and work at the business," he responded, not getting the hint. "I know you've never really wanted to be involved because mixing too much family and business can cause problems, but Dad'll be gone." Then he played his ace, "And I need you."

I'm a journalist and a public relations practitioner, not a...well, whatever I'd be at the business. Besides, I don't know much about nuts and bolts. Without product knowledge, how much help could I be? I continued to have this silent dialogue with God, trying to convince Him that He'd made a silly little mistake and he'd passed the crazy notion on to my husband. I continued resisting until God's persistent push was about to land me on my face.

"OK, I'll work in our family business, but I'm not necessarily going to like it," I said. Both of them (God and my husband) were agreeable with my terms. I slowly learned the difference between screws and bolts, how to identify materials and measurement specs. It was like learning a new language. I worked in the inclement warehouse (sweltering heat in the summer and numbing cold in the winter), learning how to package and stock items on the shelves or how to pull orders. I began helping customers on the phone and at the counter. I learned how to drive the delivery truck and write up invoices.

That was several years ago. While I'll never be the fastener industry expert my husband is, I can get by running the place if I absolutely have to. Our son works in the business now and I'm not required to be as involved. (Whew!)

The point? Sometimes we have to do things we really don't want to do. If God is telling us it's what He wants, resisting will only delay the inevitable. Leviticus 26:3-20 spells it all out clearly: If we obey God, He'll bless us (in the short or long haul) beyond anything we could imagine. If we don't, we can expect some bad stuff like "sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy our sight and drain away our lives." Ewww

I pick option A. If God wants me to serve in a new way, remain in an uncomfortable job, befriend an unpleasant person or sacrifice my possessions, I'm in. I've seen God's power and ability to get my attention. He lets us choose— the easy way or the hard way. I pick A. How about you?


Anonymous said...

Hi Diane - this was timely for me, thank you! I'm not having much fun at the present, but doing my best to stick to what I believe God needs from me. It's nice to receive some encouragement along the way... I'm holding out for the long haul. Kim

Gary said...

Obedience is a choice! Unlike some things we have to make choices about, this should be an easy one. We can choose God's "MY Way HighWay" which is a direct route to His will. The road is paved, mostly smooth, and contains only an occasional pot hole or detour. Conversely the "Do It My Own Way Roadway" is a bumpy,winding, wilderness road. The danger of losing ones way is significant with only a distant hope of soon reconnectng to the well marked highway. The choice seems simple. God once challenged me "Do it my way and prove me right or do it your way and prove me right"....blessings Gary

Anonymous said...

God is so very clear in what He wants! We need to heed these commands:
-Don't let cattle graze with other kinds of cattle (Leviticus 19:19)
-Don't have a variety of crops on the same field. (Leviticus 19:19)
-Don't wear clothes made of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19)
-Don't cut your hair nor shave. (Leviticus 19:27)
-And, of course, the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy. When are we going to learn to keep these commandments? When? Why can't we stop people from shopping on Sunday?

Julie Ferwerda said...

Too funny... "Sometimes we have to do things we really don't want to do. If we obey God, He'll bless us...if we don't, we can expect some bad stuff like 'sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy our sight and drain away our lives.' Ewww"

My sentiments exactly! (Nice understating, btw...)