When I was a twenty-something, struggling to figure out what God wanted to do with my life, I got some really good advice — the kind that still sticks with me today, and I imagine is evergreen.
I had just returned from a very traumatic stint as an overseas missionary in Asia. I was shell shocked, with no idea what to do next. I had sold everything I owned before going off to missions and my bank account was very lean and mean. No car and just a mailing address.
The beauty of the situation was that a previous Vice President I worked for happened to call me long distance from California, to just say hello and check-in with me. In less than a 30 minute phone call, I went from being unemployed to employed with a salary that put my money worries to bed. A month from landing back in the good ol' USA.
Not only that, the very Sunday afternoon before my first day on the job, a stranger I sat next to in church offered me the keys to her used Volvo, once she found out I was a returning missionary.
Now, you'd think with two miracles like that, my faith would be as indestructible as diamonds.
But, aaahhhh. I was a diamond in the rough.
A Diamond In The Rough
You see, I worried much more about what God's will was in my life, rather than trusting my life was already in His will.
I was jolted into this reality as I sat in my pastor's office, re-counting all the questions I had about where God was leading me. I was obsessed with worrying whether I was wasting my time as a "civilian", working in high tech here in Silicon Valley.
I want to be out there, serving God full-time, was my whine.
I still remember the pastor's response crystal clear, sitting across from him in that old steel-framed church folding chair. Pastor Rich Carlson looked me squarely in the eye. And paused.
What is he gonna tell me?
I need a prayer, dear Lord. Will you have him lay hands on me and pray for discernment? And oh, yes, I definitely need wisdom.
"So, Bonnie. Let me ask you a question." Pastor Rich begins with a smile.
"What have you done lately that's been fun?"
"Uh… What?.. !" Is this a trick question?
"I said, Miss Bonnie. When's the last time you did something FUN."
Now, I'm really confused.
I stumbled and stammered, "I don't need to have fun. I need to figure out what God wants me to do. This is more important to me than having fun."
"Well, first of all, you're already where God wants you. Right where you are. Your life is full-time ministry. Second of all, young lady, you need to go have some fun. Don't worry about what God wants you to do. Don't you think He'd let you know? Why don't you leave that up to Him? Trust Him, go and have some fun."
I wish I could say I left his office, blaring to party it up. In fact, many moons had to pass, sleepless nights and worry filled days, before I could learn to let go and have fun.
A Telltale Indicator
God used this wise pastor's words to give me permission to trust God, even when I doubted myself. Laughter was the indicator in my ability to do so.
Although I am still very much a diamond in the rough, fun is now one of my top indicators of my faith health. I treasure friends who can help polish off some of the dirt and keep me fun-filled and faith-filled.
If you haven't tried it lately, I'd suggest you go and have yourself a good laugh. Have fun.
And while you're at it, you'll be practicing putting the list of worries on God's shoulders.
You'll be walking by faith.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
What do you think about fun and it's role in your spiritual walk?
Would love to know: what do you like to do to have fun?
*** BOOK GIVEAWAY! ***
Today's post is a scene from my life when I hit one of my Plan Bs. I recently had an opportunity to review a new book by Pete Wilson titled Plan B, and I'm happy to host a giveaway at my place at Faith Barista!
Photo courtesy of Photobucket.com