He had me on ‘What if…?’

Part of the series, Game-Changers


And it wasn’t even during the sermon.

Photo from NewsOn6.com

It was during the last song before the sermon. While we were singing “How Great Thou Art.”

‘What if I called you to Oklahoma?’

I had been online before the service, looking at a writing job somebody pointed me to during our ministry team huddle. Turns out the job is in Oklahoma City.

The last thing Carol and I have ever wanted was to leave all our Fort Worth friends and pull up roots. And have to start over.

The last thing.

But during the last six months—during Reinventing Charles 3.0—we’ve realized the real last thing we want happening is missing out on God’s call, God’s best for us, in any way.

And, of course, Oklahoma is just a proxy, a stand-in, for wherever it is God in his wisdom and love calls us.

“Okay, Lord. Oklahoma’s fine as long as it’s you calling us there.”

‘What if I called you to live in a trailer park in Oklahoma?’

Oh goodness.

I guess the second-to-last thing we’ve wanted is to leave the beautiful little house we built just a few years ago. But you know…? It’s just a house. And we’ve come to realize that our lovely little home has trapped us into having to make a certain income. And not given us much time in which to pursue the things God has called us to do.

Then it hit me. Tornado Alley. All the news reports I’ve ever heard—all the pictures I’ve ever seen—about death and destruction from Oklahoma tornadoes hitting trailer parks.

Do you think I’d call you somewhere and not protect you? Or at the very least bring you home to me?

“Okay, Lord. Trailer Park’s fine—in Oklahoma or anywhere—as long as it’s you calling us there.”

‘What if I called you to live in a trailer park and then prospered you?’

Would you move as soon as you had the money?

This was during the first part of the teaching time. Craig’s message was on giving. But somewhere before the teaching time there was a promo for the next series. Something about margins. Margin, whether time or money or something else, is the difference between the resources you have available to spend and what you actually spend.

And it dawned on me that God may want us in a trailer park for some other reason than because he might want to humble us or give us less money, but to increase our margin so we can give more and do more.

He had me.

I didn’t know it, but he had Carol too. Already been talking to her.

About trailers.

We don’t know what God is doing, exactly, with our lives right now. Or where he’s going to put us or what he’s going to have us do. We only know that he knows and that it’s a very good thing.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. —Romans 8:28


7 thoughts on “He had me on ‘What if…?’

  1. Charles,
    Thanks for the thoughts you put in this blog.
    I have been going through some of the same thoughts as I approached retirement at the end of 09. Still not sure where the Lord will take us next but we are praying for wisdom and His leading just as I am sure you have been.

    • Thanks so much, Jim. I really wish we had time to talk. Just looking at your way with people, I suspect you've spent a lot of quality time with God. I'd like to hear some of what he's taught you.

  2. 1. Moving to Oklahoma–too flat. ;)
    2. Trailer park–We are culturally trained to UPscale, not downscale. And if you are gonna downscale, you don't go to a trailer park. (That's the American nightmare talking. "Bigger, bigger, more, more.")
    3. Start making decent money, but stay in the trailer park–Again, if one is trained by Western culture, this is a counter-intuitive.

    All depends on whether or not your intuition is heavily influenced by consumerism or by our Christ community and tradition.

    • Ah… I get it.

      Yes, it was highly counter-intuitive and I guess that was the point.

      We have to be willing, even eager, to go anywhere he might lead before we can hear where he's leading us.

      I've been tremendously affected the last few weeks reading The Blessed Life by Robert Morris. Have you read it?

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