On Favor, the Socratic Method, and Tire Shops

Two things about this past month:

1) It has been even more insanely busy than “normal” and

2) I have been asking the Lord to speak to me in myriad ways – it is my goal to learn EVERY language He speaks (c’mon, I’ve got eternity to do this.  It’s not an unreasonable goal!)  And boy, has he been obliging me.

It actually started at the end of September.  I was given several words concerning the increase of favor, both God’s and man’s, in my life.  Of course, I said, “Bring it on!!!”  And when I went to Indianapolis on October 7 for the wedding of a friend I hadn’t seen in 23 years, favor showered me with full force (this, of course, is one of the ways He communicates).  I wrote down every single occurrence, and within a 2-day period, I had 11 things on my list.  These included a rental car upgrade and meals being bought for me, for starters.  But then there was also the very sweet rental car place manager who lived 6 houses from the wedding venue.  He drew me a map, wrote out directions, and gave me his cell phone number in case I got lost – all unasked for.  And there was also the cashier at the Chinese restaurant I went to with my friend.  I was dubious, to be honest, about Chinese food in Indiana, especially considering the place was called the Side Wok Cafe or some such.  I asked for jasmine or green tea, whatever they had, and the cashier informed me they only had “regular” tea.  But the man manning the wok ( 🙂 ) started speaking to him in rapid-fire Chinese and gesturing at the shelf above him, and the next thing I knew, the cashier was bringing me a steaming cup of the not-for-sale  tea they, themselves, drank.  (And the food was actually pretty good, too.)  There were other things, too, but perhaps the most significant occurrence of favor was my hotel room upgrade.  Not only was I given a suite with a Jacuzzi, but I also learned a very important lesson.  Because, see, the suite was not really all that.  It was an older hotel, for one thing, and the room must have been a smoking room at one time or another because it still smelled pretty strongly of smoke.  The toilet ran alllll night until I finally shut the water valve off, and the a/c made a very loud clunking noise every time it cycled off, so solid sleep was minimal.  BUT. (And it’s a big one, haha).  The Lord told me clearly that sometimes it’s less about what’s being offered and more about the fact that it IS being offered.  I was offered the suite because it took over an hour to check in to the hotel, and the clerk on duty had disappeared from the front desk for about 20 minutes of that hour.  So the night clerk wanted to make amends for the poor service and offered me the suite.  Here is what I wrote in my journal that night:

And the offer of favor and honor should be accepted with graciousness.  This is what makes the difference between arrogance and understanding/inhabiting my position.  You have placed me where I am placed; You have lifted me up.  I receive favor and honor because of Your pleasure in me, and I desire to honor You with my reception of it.  What a fun notion that I benefit by making it all about You.  Because when I accept what You give me, when I accept what You say about me, I accept You anew.

There was more to that Indiana trip, too, including some healing that I literally felt break open over me as my old friend shared an opinion – she has no idea about this, but what she said brought me freedom in a sensitive area.  I went back to Texas profoundly grateful for the seemingly out-of-the-blue wedding invitation that positioned me for a major God-encounter.

The Lord spoke to me again about a week later.  This wasn’t nearly as profound, but it tickled me immensely.  I was sitting in my Wednesday night class listening to a presentation on Socrates, and  I was already kind of amused because whenever I hear the word “Socrates,” I hear it in Bill and/or Ted’s excellent voice.  So I was smiling to myself and listening to my classmate tell us about the Socratic method (which, in its basic form, is a series of questions formulated as tests of logic and fact intended to help a person or group discover their beliefs about some topic), when I saw the Lord (who was sitting next to me as I perched on a tabletop) lean over and punch me lightly on the shoulder.  He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows and said, “You know, Peg, I use this method with you all the time.  It’s not really Socrates’.”

I very nearly burst out laughing.  I think I might have actually clapped a hand over my mouth.  Because it’s true.  The Lord is ALWAYS posing questions to me and not giving me the answers.  He knows I’m going to go after them, and he knows I love rabbit trails…so if I ask HIM questions, he answers me with questions.  And he’s smiling the whole time, which aggravates me and makes me smile, too.  He’s so much fun – if anyone ever tells you the Lord doesn’t have a great sense of humor, pray that he/she would get a revelation because God is the funniest person I know.

Finally, a few nights ago, driving home from class, I was thinking about the recent Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish New Year that took place at the end of September.  I was thinking that I really need to learn more about the Jewish calendar and the connections between it and what’s happening in the Christian world, when I passed a tire shop that advertised Goodyear tires.  Except that one of the “O’s” was burned out, so the sign read “G odyear.”  I saw that and IMMEDIATELY heard the Lord tell me that this new year was going to be full of Him and His purposes, that He had it covered, and I felt such a sweet sense of both peace and anticipation.  I can’t wait to see what He does.

I’m sharing all of this to encourage you and tell you that God is rarely silent.  It’s just that sometimes He speaks languages that you may not yet have learned.  But if you pay attention, He’s definitely speaking and He wants you to understand.  Ask Him to teach you a new language this week – and then open your eyes and ears and get ready to receive some fun stuff!