What happens when you coerce the pastor’s wife to skip Bible study with you?
Well, let me just tell you.
Since I would be That Person who did such a thing.
We have Bible study on Wednesday mornings at our church, which is my very favorite part of the week. But for whatever reason, I haven’t been terribly engaged in our recent book. By that I mean, Days 1 through 5 of my homework pages for this particular week were still blank as of Tuesday afternoon. (Yes, that much engaged.)
I tend to be nerdy about books, research, and homework; so to be That Person who comes to class empty-handed is decidedly out of my lane. Last Wednesday morning (as in one week ago), as I was headed out the door to class, I realized I couldn’t find my book.
Which was awesome.
The fact that I didn’t notice until an hour before class was a dead giveaway that the book hadn’t been cracked in a while.
Just call me Student of the Week, folks.
So, yeah…you can easily surmise that I had no clue what topic would be discussed in class this Wednesday.
Since Miss All-or-Nothing would rather skip class altogether than sit there cluelessly (which is eerily reminiscent of my Accounting II experience in college), I may or may not have asked my friend Holly (who happens to be our pastor’s wife) to join me for coffee instead. As in, let’s hang out at Starbucks on Wednesday morning during that time we would both normally be at church.
Because, sure, asking the pastor’s wife to skip Bible study is the logical thing to do…said no one ever. I won’t say whether or not she agreed to go with me, as that plan was obviously well-laid from hell or something.
Because lo and behold, on Tuesday afternoon at 2:04pm, my phone rang. It was our bible study teacher, Donna. I debated answering for the first two rings, as I was convinced she must have eyes in the back of her head. (Like my mom did when I skipped Physics that one time in high school.)
Donna: “Hi, Amy, I have a favor to ask…”
Amy: “Sure, what’s up?
Donna: “Could you lead Bible study tomorrow? Something’s come up…”
Amy (stunned): “Absolutely. Yes…no problem…uh-huh, you’re welcome. But, um, I lost my book…like, last week or something. So…what chapter are we on?”
This conversation must have left Donna so confident, knowing her B-team was perfectly prepared to suit up in a pinch.
It’s like God himself interrupted my plan to ditch Bible study of all things. He didn’t need to be so dramatic about it, though. I mean…I didn’t even have a book!
So with less than 24 hours to prepare, I hustled to the church to grab a new book…and then came home and immediately began studying. Except not technically immediately. Because there were 23 other things that I had to complete first, like 3rd grade homework, a last minute grocery store run, and dinner.
Okay, let’s be honest: I actually didn’t get to the preparation part until Wednesday morning at 5:30am, a mere 3 hours before class. So there. And Lord, have mercy.
When I showed up to the classroom around 9:15am this morning, I learned the DVD was at Donna’s house. Because of course. There went my safety net, and gone with it, that precious 15 minutes of DVD-watching class time where I didn’t have to grasp for things to say, about a topic I didn’t study. (Let’s just all pause and thank the Lord I’m not your child’s teacher.)
Bless my heart.
Though it appears this story is like one of those snowballs rolling downhill (or a train wreck at best), bible study was awesome. It was like God didn’t actually need me at all. He just needed a mouthpiece, with no preconceived or contrived knowledge.
And wow, okay, message noted.
Not only did the women keep the conversation rich and alive, I experienced true joy in the middle of the unexpected. My soul was filled up by this company of women, by the easygoing nature of the group, and by the true encouragement shared in that space.
As I drove home afterwards, it dawned on me that God is best seen in us, when we’re empty. While it’s not super-great for a teacher to be unprepared, this situation made me realize how often we get in the way. And perhaps it would do us good…to do less thinking and figuring, and do more listening and watching.
What if we could just let God run the show, and trust that he knows what he’s doing?
Could it be that availability is our best character trait?
Because God wasn’t surprised by Donna’s phone call on Tuesday afternoon. And he was well aware that my homework pages were blank. He also didn’t expect me to become an expert on the topic at hand in less than 24 hours.
So maybe he just needs us to show up…and then let him do his thing through us?
What would it look like for you to give God creative control of your agenda today?
See you soon,
p.s. You can pretty much bet that I won’t ask Holly to skip Bible study again, though. Just saying.
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