Paying Attention to God's Voice
In September of 2019 I asked for a new church appointment. There were a number of reasons. No need to get into that here. But I felt I needed to be somewhere else and God wanted me somewhere else. Then the story gets interesting.
The week after I first made it public that I would be asking for a new appointment, I rode my bike up what I think is the tallest mountain in Vermont you can actually ride a bike up: Bolton. It was great, as always. Riding up that mountain gives you a great sense of achievement. Riding down is a blast. The more courageous (or stupid) of us hit 50 to 60 mph on the way down. Well, that’s what I did, until near the bottom I got a flat tire. I don’t much like changing flat tires, and I don’t like cold weather, so that particular flat basically ended my riding season in 2019.
2020 comes along with all sorts of promise. Before Covid-19 shut everything down, I met with my new church (this one!) and I was excited about new beginnings. My wife and I had a stomach bug the night we visited and I did not give a good first impression whatsoever. Yet they still accepted me and have welcomed me. Amazing. Even when the pandemic came to our shores, I thought I’d be okay because it was then warm enough for me to hop on my bike again. Unfortunately, five miles in, my first bike ride of the year ended in a flat tire.
From mid-March to late June when I moved here to Charlton, I suffered seven or eight flat tires. I lost count because I was too frustrated. In one 12-month period I had twice as many flat tires than I had in the eleven years I’ve been riding a road bike. Once I moved to Charlton, however, while I did have a flat shortly after moving, I’ve been scot free again.
If all of my praying has helped me at all, I have come to think that God was telling me something, especially because all of my flat tires were rear tires: “You’ve done all you can, it’s okay to move on and put these years behind you.” Not that I’m going to have an easy time of things here, of course. But I do believe God was telling me to leave my frustrations, hurts, and flats behind, put them in His hands, and prayerfully and hopefully journey on to the next adventure.
And in all this, what I’m trying to say is that we need to pay attention. God’s hand and God’s voice are sometimes in the most frustrating or most mundane events of our lives. If we keep our eyes open and pray, however, God is all around, speaking to us, guiding us, bringing us close.