Divine Foolish Wisdom
by Mindy Kiker
I am searching for balance, simplicity, and peace. Along the way, I discover that God’s ways are counter intuitive to mine. Surprise!
In my human wisdom, I assumed that God would lead me to find peace by taking on fewer responsibilities and paring down my to-do list. But our God is unpredictable.
When my eldest son entered the local high school, I joined the PTSA in order to sow into the lives of those who are sowing into ours. A deluge of volunteer opportunities rushed in via e-mail, all of which I systematically deleted from my in-box because I am trying to say “no” to the good and save my “yes” for the best.
Soon thereafter, I received an e-mail which read, “Ms T. would like someone to help read to her ACT prep-class.”
I was just about to delete the request, when I thought, “Pay attention. This class needs you.” Oh goodness, where did that thought come from? God, is that you? Or is it my overactive desire to be of service and be valued for my help?
Again my thoughts persisted, “This one is for you.”
OK, wait a minute, I’m trying to shed responsibilities, not take more on. I’ve been asking God to help me stop busying myself with Martha-style responsibilities, but rather to find Mary-style attentiveness at His feet, and in answer God suggests that I might like to take on another responsibility. Hmmm, this doesn’t make sense.
Then I remembered that God is unpredictable and maybe even a little “foolish.”
“Yes, Mindy, this is my ‘best’ for you. You may say ‘yes.’ ” Before I could second-guess this word from The Lord by running it through my rational shredder, I sent a reply e-mail offering my services.
The following week, when I entered the classroom, I was transported back to years of challenging and rewarding work with disadvantaged learners in South Africa. What a pleasure to be in the classroom again, supporting students struggling to master basic skills. I felt that my years of sowing in Africa could benefit these students and this teacher. Joy and peace settled over me, confirming that I was in the right place.
At the conclusion of my first day, the teacher turned to me and cautiously asked if this is what I was expecting.
“Well,” I replied, “I did not know exactly what to expect, but I think this may be a good fit.”
She grinned and confessed, “I thought maybe your e-mail was a mistake. I wasn’t sure that you knew what you were volunteering for. I have sent out that same request every year for the last twelve years, and you are the first ever to offer your help.”
I am the first?!
I stand shaken at how easily I could have declined that request, marveling at the kindness of God to keep my ears tuned to His voice.
What would you think if you prayed for simplicity, and God suggests that you take on yet another responsibility? Foolishness! Exactly.
God asks each of His children, “Will you obey Me and trust that I can make it work?”
What joy to respond with a believing “yes,” to unleash unpredictable simplicity and boundless peace. Can God be trusted with anything? With everything? His ways do not always make sense, yet I have learned to trust His divine foolish wisdom.