Wednesday, September 14, 2005

God in Ordinary Time

Pat Stevens

How many times have you heard the old joke about the believer who attempted to discern God’s will through the practice of ‘Bible Roulette?’ Prayerfully she took her Bible and opened it to what she hoped would be words of direction. Her first attempt landed her at Matthew 27:5, speaking of Judas’ actions after the betrayal: ‘He went off and hanged himself.’ Convinced of the need for a second attempt, she closed her Bible and then opened it up again, this time to Jesus’ words: ‘Go thou and do likewise.’ She decided to put her Bible away and to explore God’s will through other means.

I remember one of my own feeble attempts. I was in Los Angeles, trying to decide whether to accept a job offer there. I asked a priest to pray over me for enlightenment and direction.

I went to bed that night still undecided about what to do. I awoke to the sound of dogs barking, car alarms ringing, and the room shaking. The Los Angeles earthquake was upon me! As I fumbled for my glasses, the thought went through my mind: ‘Boy, is that priest a powerful pray-er! This is sign enough for me; I’m out of here.’

I ended up staying in Los Angeles. The freeway I needed to take to my alternate destination had collapsed, and there was no other route available to me. Humorous, indeed, are God’s ways.

From page 27 of God in Ordinary Time – Carmelite reflections on everyday life, published by the Carmelites of Indianapolis 2001
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