Okay. What do you think the odds would be that….
One day, you’re thinking about going back to college and getting a degree. Let’s say you live in New York. You don’t have a clue where you ought to consider enrolling. At lunch, a friend at the office sits down beside you. As you explain your recent thoughts on universities, they tell you that you should consider UCLA. Hmmm. California? Tucked back in your mind, you finish your hours at work. On arrival at home, you check the mail. Water bill, phone bill, and a letter from….UCLA advertising their new degree program. (!) Months pass and you dismiss the whole going back to school thing as you stay in your routine of just getting by. On a breezy, sunny afternoon, your mind drifts to getting that degree again. You wonder what could possibly be at UCLA. After dinner, you and your spouse accept an invitation to a new neighbor’s house for coffee and dessert. Their grandson is home on break. As you step through the door, introductions begin. They are so proud of their grandson; he’s made the dean’s list—-at UCLA. The next day at work, your production team is scheduled to attend a seminar at a hotel conference room downtown. Easing into your seat, the guest speaker begins. "Thank you for inviting me today to discuss our new statistics proposal. I must say that if it hadn’t been for our recent studies at UCLA, we wouldn’t even be here." At this point, you faint….
So, what are the odds of this scenario happening? I’m not a mathematician, but I would estimate that the odds would be about one chance in several million. I’m not thinking of going back to school, but the odds mentioned above would probably apply to what IS happening to me. I know it’s not chance—God is speaking to me.
Last summer, I was gripped with concern over a matter. It was consuming a lot of thought. One day, someone I had not met before sat down beside me at a university swimming pool I was visiting. I had been sitting there, contemplating what God might show me about this concern. As we talked, this man directed me to the parable of the sower and the seed.
That evening, I attended a worship service. As the speaker began his message, he asked us to turn to Luke, chapter eight–the parable of the sower and the seed. Though thinking intently over what was taking place, I stopped seriously considering the implications of my conern as the months passed.
Last Friday, I was writing in a work text book of a class I am taking. I was instructed to write the answer to a question. Interestingly, the question brought to mind the same subject I had been wrestling with before. I wrote my thoughts on the paper and put it away. That night, I attended the first of a two session service in a nearby town. After the music was over, the speaker began. It would appear that the subject of the evening was going to be—the parable of the sower and the seed.
The next morning–Saturday– the study of the parable continued at the next session. At this point, I am really listening. With quite an array of thoughts having been on my mind, I awaken on Sunday morning. I attended a church service at another town, north of where I live. As the pastor spoke, he had a Power Point display of scripture that he projected as his sermon unfolded. Would anyone care to suppose that he talked about the…..no, surely not.
Surely, yes. The parable of the sower and the seed. Although part of a larger theme that morning, there it was again. Just like UCLA.
I am seriously considering what this parable has to say, what I can learn from it and what God is wanting me to understand. The odds are too great to be explained away. I have a lesson to learn. It’s there, somewhere. Will I learn it tomorrow? Will I grasp it fully by next week? Next year? I don’t know. I will, however, keep listening.