High Risk at the Library
High Risk in a Library
I was teaching a course at my city’s very-secular university, “McMaster,” and I had stayed late to talk to some students from my class. I still had to check some books out of the library’s fifth floor so I made the trek across the road to the library. I found my books quickly and started to head back. As I walked past the stacks of books, I saw a young female student searching the shelves. I don’t know why she caught my attention, but as I walked past all I could think about was that I should talk with her. I am not that bold, especially with a stranger, especially with a stranger of the opposite sex. I kept on walking, now down the stairs, but continued to feel bothered.
I am living this experiment of listening to that still-small-voice and responding to it as if it were God. After all, if the idea is for good, it is worth the risk! God, was this idea yours or mine? I walked back up the stairs, then started to pace. How was I going to start a conversation and make it not weird?
“Hey, it looks like you are looking for a book.” NO!
“I walked by and you caught my eye.” Really NO!
“I think God wants me to talk to you.” Sigh!
When I got back to the stack of books, she was still looking, even more desperately. So, heart pounding, I approached her…
“Hey, it looks like you are looking for a book” (inward grimace)! She turned, looking surprised, and replied,
“Yes, I am looking for a Bible.”
“Is this for a class, or for you?” I ventured.
“I just arrived from Korea and most of my things are still coming here, including my Bible. They are teaching me things I don’t agree with and I just need to find a Bible!”
“Well, I am a pastor and I think God just tapped me on the shoulder to talk with you.”
She crumpled to the ground in tears of joy then told me about the ideas she didn’t agree with. I reached around the corner and found a Bible. We opened the Scriptures on the floor of a very secular university and read the refreshment from the pages. What a rush!!
A couple things I notice about God’s leading… The adventures he sends us on are often not easy, and they always involve faith. Speaking to a stranger in that situation was difficult; it was not my normal! I guess this is a way to recognize God’s still-small-voice. It’s not something I would normally think to do.
Obedience to God’s taps on the shoulder usually takes faith, sometimes scary, risky faith. Is faith really faith without some unknown, without some risk? Hebrews chapter 11 is a chapter of risk-takers: people leaving homes, building boats, hiding spies. Can I experience the adventure without taking the risk?
God, give me your strength to boldly follow those risky promptings of Your Spirit!