The Decision – When should I pray to God?
Carlie frowned at her latest daymare and decided the candle held better possibilities. Anything to keep her mind off of the decision. The flame danced in ecstasy. That was me in college: the parties, the dates, sorority life, even all those meaningless business classes. Now I’m like the wax dripping down the side. Oh yeah, daddy is still talking.
“Carlie, I’m your father. Of course I understand and I don’t have a problem with it.”
Carlie watched her father’s piercing blue eyes. When did you get all that gray hair daddy? I haven’t been gone that long. Should I ask you for another game of chess? I loved all those games that we used to play. I like the way you crinkle your nose when you’re confused. That still makes me laugh. Just don’t let me win this time. Mmmm. Is that vanilla? I loved momma’s cooking. I miss her so much.
“Well Carlie, that’s my offer. What do you think?”
“What offer daddy?”
“That’s the third time I’ve tried to tell you. Come on, a change in scenery might help. Let’s go out to the rock garden. Maybe you can daydream about picking some weeds.”
“Okay daddy.” Carlie blew out the candles, wiped off the large oak dining room table, pushed in the chairs, and wiggled her toes in the plush carpet. I need carpet like this in my next apartment. What a stress reliever.
“Carlie? Carlie! You’re going to wear a hole in the carpet. Come one. You don’t have much time to make a decision.”
“Okay. Okay. I’m coming.”
Carlie walked through the living room that no one ever sat in and opened the double front doors.
She jumped the three front steps and hopped over the box hedges to the finely manicured front lawn. She flitted across the lawn and landed on her favorite rock in the garden. Then she placed her hands on her knees and stared out at the water in the distance.
Carlie’s father walked silently behind her and watched her every move. He sat down next next to her on the rock and folded his strong hands on his lap. “Carlie, maybe this will help. I used to think that my life was like an old brick building. With pieces slowly falling away, I felt useless. How could I be of use to anyone with such a broken life. My heart was breaking. I wanted to give up. My best days were in the past. My old eyes didn’t see the desperate need for the things that I take for granted. You show me that. You showed me that my worth to God isn’t found through my deeds. You showed me that, Carlie.”
Carlie watched the sailboats in the distance. Daddy, do you remember when you tried to teach me fishing? I was trolling a line behind our sailboat when I caught that 15 foot power boat. Boy did that guy wake up with a start. I can’t believe he saved my hook.
“You haven’t heard a word. Pick a rock, Carlie.”
That snapped Carlie’s attention back to the present. “Do what?”
“Pick out a rock.”
“Okay, that flat one right there.”
“Mmm. Limestone. I’ll bet your life feels a lot like that limestone right now. Made of shells, you feel soft and easily broken apart – like life is just trampling all over you. Filled with fear, you’re beating yourself up with cold and bitter words. Still, I don’t see you that way.”
“You’re right, daddy. I do feel like that. I’m afraid, really afraid. These daymares are killing me. I don’t know if I’ve made the right choice. How do you see me?”
“Carlie, you’re like a piece of granite sitting on the beach. You’re strong, skilled, and confident. You welcome life’s challenges to beat upon you. You know that they will erode you some, but, the eons that you’ll survive inspire you. Still, what you don’t see is that the beach is eroding from underneath you. It’s time to move on.”
“You need me daddy.”
“We can always Skype. And you know that we can always play our chess games online. You’ll still be close to the internet you know.”
“I still don’t know how to fish. You need to teach me!”
“God will teach you, Carlie. It’s what he’s calling you to do.”
“I’m afraid, daddy. I’m so afraid.”
“Carlie, you can’t ignore what God is asking you to do. You can’t think that you can do it all on your own. If you do, you’re life will be like an underground stone city. You create your own air.
Through the marvels of knowledge you’ll supply your own needs. You’ll create your own boundaries. You’ll form your own world. But, you won’t see God’s all powerful skills. You’ll miss how much He cares. God has your back, Carlie. God wants you to go.”
Just remember John 15:5, 8-10 “I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me… My Father’s glory is shown by your bearing much fruit; and in this way you become my disciples. I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
Carlie inhaled deeply. “Do you think I should go, Daddy?”
“You’ll never know amazing joy until you start doing what God is asking you to do. So, yes I do think you should go.”
I remember that conversation like it was yesterday. Online chess is fun, but I need to take some classes if I’m ever going to beat her. Life is good.