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Thy will“When you go home, pray and ask God to send us the right person for the job.  We need someone who…”

It wasn’t surprising that I tuned out the supposed requirements for our latest job opening. Our committee chair had one notion, which I lovingly called our comfort zone. I was pretty sure we needed something new. But without a clear sign, aka a burning bush, I wasn’t going to speak up. Maybe the something new was my desire and not God’s.

Because of this uncertainty, I prayed but not quite as directed.

“Lord, take us where you would have us go.  And, since I’m not sure where that is just yet, please send us the person who will point the way. Not my will, but thy will, Lord.”

We went through applications and more applications.  Today, I can’t tell you the number. I’ve blanked it out, but it was well over 100.  There were a number of comfort zone candidates, none of whom felt right.  There were also a number that would yank us right out of that comfort zone if I could get any of them past the committee chair.

The reality was that I was on the hiring committee for a reason.  I’m stubborn.  Really, really stubborn.  And more than a tiny bit outspoken.  I was there to counteract another strong personality, but I wasn’t going to argue without reason and none of these candidates spoke to me.

Until one did.  The funny thing was that this candidate wasn’t anyone’s first choice, but we all felt drawn to his application.  And that worried me.  It screamed comfort zone.  Had I been completely and totally off base about what we needed in a candidate?

Yet, we all agreed and for a committee as varied as ours to all be drawn to the same person, that spoke volumes. The committee loved the candidate.  The congregation did too.  When we hired him, he said that he wouldn’t make any changes for at least 6 months because he needed to see how things worked. The comfort zone people sighed in relief.

It wasn’t until a few months after we hired him that he said something that snapped my head around.  “I know you’ve never done this before, but I feel compelled to suggest…”

God had found the perfect person for the job.  He came from within our comfort zone but he was just as comfortable looking beyond it.

When I think about it, this prayer makes me shiver because truly I love my comfort zone even when I know it’s time to step out.

“Lord, take us where you would have us go. Not my will, but thy will, Lord.”


You know how it goes. The busier we are, the less time we have to connect with friends and family. When I’m disconnected for too long, I feel adrift. Then I whine. I whine about no one calling me and asking me to do anything. Sometimes I whine at my husband. Sometimes I whine at God.

This was one of those weeks. I faced a Monday deadline, three Thursday deadlines and a Saturday deadline. Sunday I decided to take a break and touch base with my father.

“I’m taking you out to lunch Thursday,” he said.

“I can’t, Dad. I’ve got 3 deadlines on Thursday and that’s my short work day.”

“I don’t have any other plans. We’re doing lunch.”

Clearly, I wasn’t getting through, but I refused to commit. “I’ll give you a call on Wednesday and let you know if I’ve gotten enough done by then.”

How could I possibly fit it in?

We’ve established in the past that sometimes God has to send a message my way two or three times before it permeates the fog of my busy-ness. It wasn’t until later, after a particular phone call, that I realized this was communique #1 and, as usual, I missed it.

Monday, I left a message for a friend. He’s even busier than I am, but I knew he’d call back when he got a chance. Tuesday, I needed to get up from the computer and take a break so I called but didn’t leave a message.

About five minutes later, the phone rang. “I don’t have time to talk I’m right in the middle of Madrigal competition with my students but I didn’t want you to think I was blowing you off and I’ll call you tomorrow when I have a minute okay bye.”

First, I laughed. Then I really truly did receive message #2. No matter how ridiculously busy I am, I’m not in this alone. I have friends. People do reach out to me. And if the busiest person I know has time for a stream of conscious run on phone call in the middle of competitions, I can certainly fit in time for lunch.

After all, I’m dense, not completely clueless. God heard me, now its time for me to hear Him. But I am left wondering, one thing. How many times does God have to repeat himself because I send out pleas for help, but then don’t listen for an answer?

Probably more often than I realize.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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