On a recent Sunday morning, I got up at my usual time and began preparing to go to church. I heard several sirens indicating what I took to be a large fire or accident in the area. The sirens persisted, and I looked out the window but saw no smoke nor anything else unusual. Then came a call from someone I was going to take with me to church. He wasn’t going; he’d received a call from one of his children who’d warned him it was icy out there and there were accidents all over the place. I could see no ice or rain out my window. The television stations were little help: the local ones were issuing no cautions while the weather channel from some distant city was making dire predictions of serious ice on I-95 from Washington D.C. to Boston. I finally decided to not go to church and learned later what a treacherous situation it had been out there on the roads.
Later that day, I read the story of Nathaniel’s call by Jesus---how he’d dismissed his friend Philip’s invitation to meet Jesus (Nathaniel didn’t regard anyone from Nazareth very highly) and then how he was puzzled when Jesus made a complimentary comment on Nathaniel’s character. Slowly Nathaniel’s mood moved from rejection to puzzlement to acceptance of Jesus.
I felt like I’d been Nathaniel that morning. The sirens, the phone call, the mixed television messages were all indicators that my decision to go to church was not wise and should be reconsidered. I did just that, and am so glad I did.
How grateful I am that God gets through with a guiding word, even when we, like Nathaniel, are slow to get that word. We are not alone; God is a very present help. Don’t dismiss God’s nudgings, God’s reminders, God’s assurances.
“Lord, let me hear your voice and discern your presence as I seek to negotiate my life.” Amen.