To preface this post, I have to explain a little bit of my special working system. In order to focus, whether on work, cleaning, or writing, I have to use a number system. I give different projects or tasks a number between one and ten; I have ten slips of paper with a number on it, then pull numbers from a hat or cup. For 20 minutes, I focus just on the project associated with the number I’ve drawn. Works like a dream! Otherwise, I’m a bouncer. I’ll be dusting my bookshelf and then find myself scrubbing the shower. It’s a sickness. Now to the story and the application….
While at work one afternoon, I decided to pull the numbers to schedule the next day. I shook the cup with the papers and then reached in and grabbed a paper and pulled it out. As I did so, another little slip popped out too, falling on the desk with the number facing away from me.
Oh the quandary! I could open the slip of paper in my hand first and read that number, OR pick up the slip on the desk. I have to admit, I sat there for a minute wondering just which one I should do first. Finally I figured since I had chosen the one in my hand, I would open it and the one that popped out would be my second scheduled item of the day. I flipped open the small lined sheet of notebook paper and my heart sank.
Number 10. Here’s the deal. As of right now, number ten is the only number that is not assigned to a project. At one point, it will be, just not yet. So, I picked up the paper that had popped out and opened it and it was the one project I knew needed the most work and would be a good task to start the next day on.
Just seconds after that, the spiritual application hit me. In my life, and not in the too distant past, I had two options that would affect my life in major ways. One choice was the one that I held in my hands, that I wanted to decide and control. Another was a choice not made by me, but made for me by the invisible hand of God.
I have to admit, that like those maddening slips of paper at work, I chose the one in my hand. The one I picked out, the one in my power. It ended up being a zero. A false start. A no-go. I had to put that choice down and move on, and I’m in a better place now because of it.
Unlike the Israelites in Biblical history, we don’t cast lots to know God’s will any more, but I can tell you with certainty that if you choose your own way when God’s purpose is something else, you’ll find nothing but emptiness until you let go and choose God’s way. I’d lend you my slips of paper to find out what that is, but the Spirit’s got that covered.