You never asked me


Thursday evening. Cold. Dark. Wet. Very cold, dark and wet.

My turn to drive the Jesus bus to the car park. Parked on the farm owned and run by the Salvation Army. God stuff in a practical way. But, tonight, a very wet and cold and dark way.

Park my car. Unlock the beloved double-decker. Switch on the switches. Listen to the pre-start whistle. Start her up. And we have lift off.

Air “hydraulics” pressuring up. Warning whistles whistle their warning. Open the passenger doors. Final pee behind the bus before setting off. Into the drivers cab. Air system up to pressure and ready. Lights on. And off we go.

All routine. All as expected.

Apart from the “STOP” light. The renewed whistling as the air pressure dropped. That was not expected.

No pressure = no brakes.

Wait awhile. Try again. Same thing. Repeat a few times. And … Stop. There was a leak inside the front near side wheel housing. That universal sound of rushing air.

So several calls later, it was agreed I leave the bus parked and locked in its place, and a mechanic would sort the problem the following day – the team in the car park would speak to the young folk and explain we had no bus for them tonight – and I would head to the team in the car park.

Two opened and closed gates later I had left the farm and was heading back in the car, when I heard an assertive voice.

“You didn’t ask Me!!!”

And you know what … He was right.

Telephone calls, some prodding and poking, some trying this and that, some decisions … Yet I had not once “asked Him” as it all unfolded. So we had a conversation as I sat parked in my car. 100 yards from the farm. In the dark.

And the upshot was I spun around and headed back to the bus. Convinced by Him. Convinced that He wanted the bus to be running on God power that night. Convinced it would. My own little miracle. The bus was going out tonight.

Excited. Happy. Expectant.

Now read from the top again – as I went through the same routine. Talking to Him each step of the way. Doing each step of the routine. Including the final pee.

And keep reading.

Because the same things happened again. The STOP light. The same whistles. The same sound of rushing air … There was no miracle of the bus running on God power that night. It was grounded with or without Him.

Except there was a miracle that night. My miracle. Just not in the way I expected.

Because as I parked the bus and switched everything off for a second time, He calmly and quietly put His arm around me and whispered:

“Now you can go home.”

That is all. That is it. That is always it.

You never asked Me

This Sunday morning in church, so many – so many – will call to Him as we would a straying puppy. Join us Heavenly Father, come amongst us as we gather here together in your name. We are sinners. We are not worthy. Bless us with your presence we ask (beg?).

What about all those times we manage so well without Him. Never giving Him a thought. Never being aware that He is there all the time. That we don’t ever have to call him back. Because He never leaves. He never leaves. It is us that “leave”. It is us that are not even aware of Him waiting. Always waiting.

You never asked Me.

How come we go all pious and reverent in His presence? How come we forget something else.

That He created that raucous laugh. That irreverent laugh. That real laugh. The one that rang loud and loving around that cold, dark and wet farm last Thursday night. That warmed me from the inside.

How come we also forget that all the “real us” is also all “His stuff.”

Thanks for reading.

You can go home now.

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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15 thoughts on “You never asked me

  1. Beautifully written. I’m watching the sky slowly gain color as I read this. Blue and Pink with the hint of a breeze. “God with us” Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I have always loved the fact that you are so aware of God’s presence in everything Paul. I pray that you will always be sensitive to his voice and call him your friend.The pee TMI hahahah me to outside by the coop. Its a man thing.

    Love you more each time.
    peace and love to you Paul

    • Tom, I often think I have a butterfly attention span when it comes to my relationship with Him: dear father there are a few things you seem to be showing me … oh look at that pretty thing over there … sorry lord what were you … woops gotta go … things to do …”

      So thank you for your kind comment!! 🙂

      • I think we all have the same kind of attention span. Busy its called. A fellow once said hurry is one of the great downfalls of mankind.
        Much love to you Paul have a peaceful day bro.

  3. Wow. I had my very own “bus” moment last night…It’s all about obedience and surrendering to Him- and not about the outcome. Your post really hit home for me. I had tried to upload a video last night- one I had made for church. I hit the button to send it, and after about a hundred tries, felt Him tell me to be anxious for nothing and to pray for everything. So I did- and shut the computer down and went to bed. I prayed about it, and trusted Him- even if I couldn’t get it to work. Got up today and prayed- even told my daughter to pray- and after another 20-30 tries, it worked. During the service I talked about that little God moment- how He tells us to pray for everything…nothing to big or small for Him…and that I can’t do anything without Him and His strength. Love your honest words 🙂

    • “nothing to big or small for Him”

      Julie what a delightful connection! And thank you for your comment! That phrase you use … we are looking for a plumber right now. Just a couple of small fiddly jobs. And no one wants them. A waste of their time. They won’t make enough from popping over to have a look and take the job.

      Nothing is too big or small for Him – the difference is He not only promises it – He delivers every time!!

      🙂

    • Rebekah, I was trying to think of something appropriate … and then the picture of rain falling came to mind. And I lost the plot. Not sure being peed on by God is a wonder I would pray for! 🙂

      But it stops the pious – that’s for sure!! 🙂 🙂

  4. Something really important in your stunningly awesome words, Paul. We do expect when God is involved for the outcome to be a certain way – a different way – our way. We connect with Him mostly because we want something, not Him. How hurtful that must be for Him. Like children only wanting to snuggle with Daddy when they want something. Ouch. 😮

    • Susan, yes yes and yes again.
      And you prompted a thought: “We have been saved by grace! Hallelujah!” That evening in a very practical way reminded me what a wealth of “stuff” that being saved includes: an absence of need for us to “be” something we are not, an eternal patience in which we can trip and trip again, a gentleness beyond anything we could ever do or be for each other, a spontaneity and sense of fun, a generosity of spirit if only we receive it … the list goes on an on.
      We have been saved?
      Then let’s get on with enjoying the fun of that statement!

  5. So, Paul, are you saying that our heavenly Papa actually wants an ongoing relationship with us? Almost like He misses our conversation at times…Hmmm…what a thought! 🙂 Great post, brother. Loved the narrative, even down to the “final pee” part. God meets even meets us there…in our most basic biological needs… 🙂

    • Mel, thank you. And the final pee? The bus has no toilet, it is a long cold night, and with the addition of hot drinks served freely – one’s bladder merits a little forethought! And I sat on this one for a few days before posting – simply to let the whole evening dissolve fully: now you can go home.

      Something I can only describe as a “sense” – as our relationship becomes deeper, He seems to become more demanding (in a very gentle way), more expectant (in a very loving way), and I have pondered: is this the “burden” I read so much of?

      Yet all I can hold to, when I wonder, is this: what a privilege, what an honour, what a joy – He wants me to take our relationship seriously! WOW!! Now that is something very very special!

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