I asked God for a sign yesterday; a confirmation on a choice I was considering. You see, after 40+ years, I think I finally know what I want to do with my life. All I needed was to find out if my envisioned purpose fit into God’s plan and His intended use of my talents (whatever they may be).
So I asked.
Yeah, that was a mistake.
I was praying on the way home last night and somewhere in the conversation I said, “You know, if I could just see that XX amount of people have read my post today, I’ll know that this is what I should be doing and I’ll know that my ideas for the direction of this website and my writing is where You want me to go.”
Can you guess how many readers I had when I got home?
Nope . . . lower.
Nope, lower than that too.
I went to sleep deflated, depressed and a few other de- adjectives. I woke up questioning (something I’m really, really good at.) and I asked my wife what she thought of the whole situation. Li’l Miss Pragmatic’s answer was, of course, “What does the bible say about ‘signs’?” So I looked . . .
Matthew Chpt. 12:38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.
Luke Chpt. 1:18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” 19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”
Or to put it more bluntly, Jesus tells the Pharisees, ‘I’ve been giving you miraculous signs all along and you still don’t believe.’ Gabriel tells Zechariah, ‘There’s a freakin’ angel standing in front of you and you still don’t believe.’ To me, they both say pretty much the same thing; the same thing that God is perhaps telling me by pointing these passages up: “I’ve been showing you signs, what good is one more going to do?” Then, when I look back over the road I’ve taken to get to this point, yeah, I can see signs that have probably been there all along . . .
First of all, regardless of the number of readers I have, I enjoy writing. I get a certain satisfaction in putting the final period, the final edit, onto a potential post.
Second, it didn’t take long for the direction of my writing to become clear. The original intent of Full Retail Christianity (my original blog), was basically going to be glorified bitching about my job. Who cares! But when I started writing more from my heart, writing from a perspective of questions I had or observations I saw, (starting essentially with D.Faults and Freaks and on since) it got easier. It got more satisfying. And, it started to resonate.
Third, I can see the direction for the future and a conclusion to the purpose of undertaking this in the first place. In other words, I know where I want to go, and I have ideas on how to get there.
And God sits up there and goes, “See??!!”
So, do I think asking for a sign was a mistake? Yeah, I do. All it did was ruin a night’s sleep and cause me undo stress and worry. Worry that, had I fffaaaaaiiiittttthhhhh (over-emphasis on the obvious!), I never would have had to endure in the first place. What good would one more sign do anyway? If I’ve asked God to lead in my life, what right do I have to continually ask, in essence, “Are you still there, God? Can you show me? Are you still leading me? Are you sure? God??”
Maybe, the takeaway of all this is, if you’re looking for a sign, don’t look up, look around. If you’re looking back through faith in the One who you’ve asked to lead in your life, the road’s most likely littered with them. If it’s not, well, that’s probably a sign.