One thing I’ve learned this year is to not run away from VERY strong promptings of the Spirit. (BTW, it’s also not a great idea to ignore very weak promptings either; you might miss your stop, ride the bus an extra ½ mile, and have to hike back. Yeah, been there; done that—just this morning.)
Near the beginning of March 2023, in the course of one hour, I received three strong messages that I was to GO BACK to afternoon diving classes. Afternoons are my Waterloo, so these were not welcome promptings, even though I do love diving. While I didn’t actually board a ship and sail in the other direction, I took no action for a few weeks. Thought I was going to get away with it…
Possibly, since this post is titled Jonah and the Diving Board, you’re anticipating more info on the subject of my return to diving lessons. Sorry! But I will say I returned just in time to bid farewell to one of my teenage diving buddies who is moving on, quite literally, to greener pastures; namely Tennessee.
The point of this post is DON’T IGNORE PROMPTINGS (postponing them is also not recommended). I received two in quick succession last Friday as I was on my way to the bus stop: Stay home. My first thought was, Lazy me; I just don’t want to go work out. But the second one came a few steps later, so I turned around and came home. Wish I had some thrilling ACCIDENT AVERTED story to share, but I don’t. Probably the only sign I did the right thing was that I felt peace. Eventually I put myself through a one-hour strength training workout (at home! which never happens), so that was something. Also I took a two-hour nap, so looks like I needed some down time.
Today’s prompting (ahem, second prompting—after the missed-bus-stop miniature-fiasco) came this evening after I studied the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30).
[‘Scuse me, message from our sponsor: SPRING! It is an absolutely gorgeous day outside. I’ve got my window open, there’s a slight breeze; birds are chirping. It’s heavenly.]
Back to the parable—the first two guys are great examples, but not the dramatic focus of the lesson. The servant who buries the talent the Lord gave him—when the Lord comes back to see what his servants have done with their stewardships, this man says something like, “I know you’re a hard master, giving us extra work on top on all the other stuff we have to do. Then you come back and expect not only what you gave us, but more besides without doing any of the work yourself. I didn’t do anything with it; here’s your coin back.”
The job of a servant is a sort of covenant relationship with his master. Servant is obligated to do what he’s ordered or expected to do. In return, Master provides him with a home, protection, air, water, sunshine, etc. All the good things. Anyone who isn’t doing stuff to aid the Master in his work is unprofitable (and ungrateful). I see this as the message of that parable (for me. today).
After much pondering, and having come to the above conclusion, I naturally started to feel like an ungrateful, unprofitable, guilty worm. This, as you know, is not a healthy attitude. I knew there were a lot of things I was doing with my personal talents; I accomplished gobs of stuff over the years. And I’m not entirely slacking at the moment. But I knew there was more.
Writing. (Can’t escape it.)
For some few weeks I’ve been pondering the blessed relationship I’ve developed with the Psalms. Over the last 15½ months I’ve been reading and copying them out, writing my insights—I’ve even composed a few—and I want to share how this has affected my life. I’ve gone from Jane Eyre’s attitude, “Psalms are not interesting,” to “Psalms are more essential than the B vitamins.” I mean, they’re awesome, in the true sense of that word.
So while I may or may not re-re-re-begin work on one of my novels, I’m definitely going to begin work on a series of blog posts in the category SUE AND THE PSALMS. I
almost tried to Jonah my way out of this: no one’s going to read them; blog posts are better with pictures; how do you take pictures of the Psalms? (Post photos of what’s going on in your life: objection overruled.) After so MANY recent experiences with unmistakable spiritual promptings, my whining quickly died out. I stopped trying to postpone this post by thinking of all the things I needed or wanted to do—needlework while I listen to a book, clean the backyard, OK I already did the laundry, Casey wants to play… They’ll keep.