My junior year of college I took a class on the History of the Jewish Holocaust, by far the most enriching of my college career. Because I’m a nerd, I typically arrived early. Over time I chatted with fellow nerd and nice guy, Merrill. He was in J-school and we’d shared a few other classes.
One particular day I was reading The Post and saw a review of the Brittany Spears movie and made some comment. Merrill inquired if I was going to watch it. “HA! No, thank you. I don’t think she has much talent in her original trade, let alone acting,” I said (or something similarly snarky).
Later – and not just later that day. Like several days later. I’m a quick one – I recollected the conversation to realize he hadn’t asked if I was going to watch the movie – he asked did I want to go see the movie.
Like, with him.
Oops. So that explains the awkward change in conversational tone in the days following.
I totally rejected him without even knowing or intending to do so. I’m one of the few people I know who can get asked out and not even realize it. (If you’ve done this, please share in the comments of the blog. Please let me know I’m not alone). The funny thing is: I totally would have said yes. He was a nice guy and I didn’t keep a long list or potential suitors. I would have enjoyed an evening out, even if spent with Brittany Spears.
I have to wonder: have I ever done this to God? Have I ever thought he was saying one thing, only to give a completely sarcastic response? Have I missed what He asks me to do because I think the task sounds ridiculous?
Probably. That’s because I’m so focused on the activity. I doubt Merrill really wanted to see Brittany Spears, though perhaps he was a closet fan. The invitation wasn’t one of content, but one of relationship.
“God doesn’t speak to me,” I hear people say. Well, perhaps that’s because we think that when he asks us to go somewhere, you laugh in his face. Perhaps you think it’s about the task before you rather than the person beside you. We don’t hear what He’s truly asking.
I don’t advocate adapting a Yes, Man attitude – we need not do everything asked of us, just like I wouldn’t date any ol’ fella. But how many good and worthy requests slip by us unnoticed because we roll our eyes at the prospect of an evening spent doing that?
Let us be listeners, not just about the task at hand, but of the voice who is inviting us to share the experience.