Chapter Two – A Coward for God

I both loved and somewhat despised this chapter if I am to be honest. I loved it because I thought it screamed something that God desperately wants us to know, “I am not a God of condemnation and to show you this I’ll let you know that you are not alone.” Here is a guy who leads World Vision for goodness sakes – and he was curled up in a ball in his pajamas, bawling, and fighting God because he:

  • Wasn’t qualified
  • Didn’t know anything about poverty
  • Didn’t want to commit career suicide
  • Was making a lot of money
  • Liked his car
  • Liked his house
  • Needed to put his kids through college
  • Didn’t want to experience poverty, slums, dying children
  • Was scared

Sound familiar? I am not alone. However, did you notice who won? Yes, Rich absolutely could have said “No.” He would have went back to his huge house and new Jaguar and made a lot of money – perhaps. What angst fighting God caused. But what joy saying “yes” brought.

Here’s what made me cringe,

“Are you willing to be open to God’s will for your life?… God was asking me this day to choose. He was challenging me to decide what kind of disciple I was willing to be. Two decades earlier I had “bet the farm” on Jesus Christ, and now He was asking me to hand over the deed. What was the most important thing in my life?”

I made the commitment. Could I hand over the deed? What is the most important thing in my life? I want to say it is that commitment. I feel like I need to be getting ready. What can I do to prepare my heart, my life, my faith, my actions NOW to where I’m standing at the ready in case God calls? It is something that has been on my mind a lot lately. And something I’m putting a lot of thought into. I have been praying that God make painfully obvious areas of my life I need work in. This is one of them. I feel like I need to get a little bit uncomfortable. I am planning a trip to Haiti – oh my goodness, I said it out loud. I have made it public. I’m looking at dates in 2013. I guess this serves as accountability – I should act on that. But is there more? Maybe what I consider to be little but could mean life or death – Do I need to also sponsor another child?

What about you? Do you think you are being called to take action in one area or another? Big or little, what are some ideas you have?




Filed under The Hole In Our Gospel

11 responses to “Chapter Two – A Coward for God

  1. Heather

    What a powerful chapter! It made me question myself. Would I have chosen to listen to God or would I be back home with the Jaguar? I cannot honestly say that I would have made the right choice. Uggghhh. Not a reality I like to admit as a follower of Christ. That brings me to my next question…how do I get there…to the point where I am open to God’s will for my life and not following MY will?
    I think the answer resides somewhere between keeping in His Word and asking the simple question, “Why did God make me?”…to LOVE, SERVE and OBEY!
    As mentioned in the chapter…To begin each day asking, how can I love, serve and obey God today, in this place, with these people. I cannot wait to start each day with this question!
    In response to your question Tiffany, I struggle daily with leaving my career here in Lincoln and moving home to where my heart resides in Minnesota. What keeps me here? The same “things” that could have kept Rich from following God’s plan for him….minus a few bedrooms and a Jag;). Is it wrong to wish that God would make it so obvious to me, what His plan is? Then reality hits me…God knows I am not ready to hear what he has planned…He knows that I have much work to do and when I have arrived, He WILL tell me:)

    • There is an old proverb that says, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I think of that often and wonder if I’m ready and what I’m doing to become ready. I agree it is also being in the Word daily.
      Also I was wondering too, have you ever had a friend where they seem to want help. Always talking about what is wrong, what they wish – and all of your suggestions lead to more excuses? After awhile I would just listen and stop talking b/c it was obvious to me that they didnt’ really want to change this situation. I wonder if it’s the same with God, he knows our hearts and sees the history of his suggestions being met with excuses. Does he just stop talking and start only listening, waiting until we are ready to hear?

      Oh, and you are not alone asking if you would have made the same choice. The amount of money in the bank would have been such a deterrent for me. I’ve been working on memorizing John 15:7-8 – If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

      This is the note I wrote to myself – “stay close!! God will shape your character and the blessings he gives you will serve to glorify Him because of the woman of god he has shaped you to be!”

      • heather

        You are preaching to the choir on the friend thing Tiffany! I can get so frustrated and I start thinking…well, eventually they will hit rock bottom and figure it out on their own…but nothing I say will convince them otherwise. I DO believe that is what God goes through! Why do we fall? I believe that it is God trying to get our attention by saying, “Hey…remember me? Now do you think you can do this your way…or are you ready to try it my way?” Great point Tiffany!

    • Thank you, Heather! I, too, was wondering how I got to the point of trusting my own plan over God’s. I want to live by God’s will, but it so easily slips from my conscience as I make my own plans. And, I was totally loving the idea of starting each day by asking how I can love serve and obey Him. Thank you for connecting those ideas together for me.

      Also, I trust that God will help you get back to your heart and home in Minnesota when the time is right.

  2. Allison

    While I enjoyed hearing the story of how RIch ended up where he is today, and his inner struggles with God’s calling for him, it is in part a little hard to relate to the position that he started in. Years of monthly promotions? President of several very successful companies? I guess that just sets the stage for me to see all that he gave up in order to serve. I can understand that it would be very hard to uproot a family. I cannot imagine moving away from my family at this point in my life. I very much appreciated the simple question: “Why did God make me? To love, serve, and obey.” That question seems appropriate at any stage of life. While we sort out what is meant for us, we can be doing so many things for others, big and small. Haiti is an awesome plan, Tiffany. Its amazing that God understands us, better than we understand ourselves. He knows what we are capable of and what our strengths are and how they can be used. I can’t wait to see how that unfolds for you!

  3. Tiffany, congratulations on your Haiti plans and way to be brave and share it! 🙂

    Al, I agree that it is sort of hard to relate to Rich’s exact situation. I am not one with big career aspirations or even the desire for a Jaguar, but a giant house on five acres does sound pretty nice. I think you are right that by knowing where he started we can empathize a bit on having to give up some worldly belongings to follow God’s plan.

    As for my own calling, just now – I believe that God is calling me to become a stay at home mama. I believe that God has put this upon my heart and that He is leading me there. Slowly, I am making progress in this direction. Slowly. My primary argument against God’s plan is a battle I have within myself that is in need of some serious prayer time. Just thinking of not working makes me feel very selfish and feels unfair to my hubby. I know that Brian is on board with the plan, but I am having trouble getting over the guilt of getting to stay home and depending on him (and Him) for all of our financial needs. And my other argument against God is the same as Rich’s: following God’s plan means giving up a lot of material things and this cozy little world where I live.

  4. Martee

    I had many of the same thoughts when reading this. The thing that most stood out to me was that I want to follow God’s plan but I don’t ever think it is that clear. I try to live each day to its fullest and take advantage of the blessings that I have but I constantly have this feeling that it’s not enough. I’m just not sure at this point what would make it enough. This is hard to admit but I know my priorities need rearranged – I need to devote more of my day/week/month to time with God. And I’m sure God is talking to me, I just need to learn to be a better listener. I do love the idea of beginning each day asking, how can I love, serve and obey God today, in this place, with these people. What a fabulous concept. It always helps to start by taking things one day at a time.

    • It’s hard to listen, especially when it’s God. Because He’s big and huge, and well, God. For almost my entire life that was my perspective. I didn’t get how personal He is. I kind of also feel (and am by NO means an expert) that God places desires in our heart and they grow or not, change or not – but I sort of just try to run after those and God will either open or close doors. Sometimes it is frustrating not knowing the next step to take but then I realize that I am basically the most impatient person ever – and that God works for the good of those who love Him – and that means His timing is probably better than mine too.

  5. Allison

    Martee, I completely have those same thoughts. That there is not something just smacking me in the face that I should be doing. Its like I want a door to be very clearly opened for me, but I just don’t know if that’s how it works. Looking at Rich’s situation from the outside, and after the fact, its like, there were so many signs that he was making the right decision and being led in the perfect direction for him. And it was a path to make such a huge impact. I agree, I need to be a better listener as well:)

    • I sometimes think in Rich’s case God had to be very very loud – because if it were me, the Jaguar, the bags of money, the title, the finally having “made it” after being out of work for that long and fighting to work his way back up – those would also be really loud voices and I could easily let those drown out anything that would go against what I had accomplished. If Rich is anything like me I wonder if God had to get loud to rise above everything else.
      This probably sounds silly. But I don’t think He often shouts. I think by and large He whispers. I find that when I’m in the Word and searching for His voice I have an easier time hearing. This has been my mmmm… what’s the word? Analogy? If I am walking in Times Square in NYC and someone, we’ll call him “Joe Smith” walks by talking. I would never just stop and think, “that’s Joe! What’s he saying?” because I don’t know him. If, you, Allison were walking by and talking. I’d stop and realize it was you and flag you down to chat. Why? Because I know you. I spend time with you. I know your voice. Now… to put this into play consistently in my own life… That’s the trick! And one I need to work on. This accountability stuff is oh so annoying, and oh so good 😉

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