The Voice of Direction: Ready to Move
Eighth in a series: Read Part Seven or Go to Beginning
The late Jamie Buckingham was a prolific author who used to write a monthly column in Charisma. (I’ve been reading the magazine for 35-plus years—and wound up writing for it for 23 of them).
So when I received a flyer in the mail about a writers conference on Cape Cod that included Buckingham as a speaker, I wanted to attend. In addition to hearing him, I had always wanted to visit Cape Cod, home to the Kennedys and great seafood.
Given our modest means, I applied for a scholarship. After a while, I heard back. The organizers had awarded me one.
Trouble was, I didn’t have the funds for airfare, lodging and other expenses. So, I did the only thing I knew how to do: I prayed. A lot.
Time dragged on and still no resources appeared. By late spring, I had to let the organizers know whether I would attend in October.
Ready to Move?
As I took our Labrador-Chesapeake mix for a walk that spring day, I poured out my heart. I didn’t understand why God had made a way for me to attend, but not a way to get there. I was disappointed. Crestfallen. Crushed.
Suddenly, I heard a soft-spoken voice. So soft I almost missed it.
“You don’t act like somebody who’s getting ready to move,” it said.
“I what?” I thought. “I’m not planning on moving.”
To say I was puzzled would be an understatement. The meaning wouldn’t become clear for more than a year.
That’s when—because we both stayed so busy—my wife said she wanted to schedule a meeting to sit and talk. Not answer the telephone or get on the computer. Just talk. We agreed to 1:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.
I chatted for a few minutes before my wife said, “I have something to say.”
“Okay,” I said.
“I want to attend seminary,” she said. Since I knew that already, that wasn’t a big surprise. What she said next was, though.
“I want to go to Louisville and visit Southern Seminary. I don’t want to do a correspondence course. I want to be on campus.”
Instantly, I thought, “I could do that.”
“All right,” I replied.
Making a Way
The look on her face was priceless. As the old saying goes, she was loaded for bear. Ready to argue her case and convince me. But: Okay?
“Why did you say that?”
“Why not?” I said. “I’m not bound to one place. I work for people all over the country. They don’t care if I live in Louisville instead of here.”
So she investigated. Talked with a former pastor who had graduated from there. Checked on campus visits and discovered we could get a free night of lodging during our stay.
Just one problem. Money. Just like I couldn’t afford air fare to Massachusetts, we didn’t have money to move. Yet we continued preparing, including renting a U-Haul truck.
“We’re either going to get to go or look really foolish,” I thought one day.
Then, with a month to go before our scheduled departure, the money materialized. I’m still surprised at how it all came together.
He didn’t just make a way for us to move. Three months later, He also made it possible to attend an even larger writers conference. God is like that, coming through when the chips are down.