The King of Overkill

Last year, I came home from the winter retreat confused and upset. All weekend they had talked about God's plan and how He wants each one of us to have a part in it. They explained that God would call us when it was our turn to do something in His great plan, we just have to be listening for Him. What confused me was when they explained further that we are so small and insignificant compared to God that we can't screw up His plan even if we tried. If we aren't listening when He calls, it doesn't ruin His plan, just our chance to be part of it.

Now before you start freaking out like I did, let me point out that could have worded that a lot better. The way they put it had me panicked that I wasn't listening hard enough. I was hearing a hundred different things from a hundred different people, and I wondered if God's voice was in there somewhere, getting drowned out.

What I didn't understand is that God's voice doesn't get drowned out. His way will always be the most obvious answer, and the one that hits you with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. When it comes to getting your attention, God is into overkill.

A perfect example of God's overkill is a story that the speaker at winter camp told this year. He was on a retreat with his youth group, sitting in chapel next to a student who wasn't a Christian. In the middle of the prayer, the student started to fidget. He fidgeted more, then leapt out of his chair with a yell. He wouldn't sit back down, and insisted on switching seats with his pastor (Roger, who was telling us this story). He sat down in his new spot gingerly, as if the chair was going to bite. Afterwards, Roger asked him what had happened. The student explained that he had prayed, asking God to prove that He was real by making his chair get hot. Roger laughed and asked his student if he believed now, and of course, he answered "of course!"

My personal experience with God's overkill happened over the last 2 weeks or so. I really wanted to go on my youth group's annual mission's trip to the Navajo Nation in Arizona, but it's really expensive. My mom kept telling me that I have to save for college, especially if I want to go to a private school. So I sent out support letters, begging for donations and prayed that God would show me His will. Since I write out all my prayers, I can tell you exactly what I said:

"Maybe you want to teach me something by paying for it myself, or maybe you have something you want me to do hereā€¦Please show me what you want me to do, God. It was so hard to watch them leave me behind last year, and I don't want to do it again. But if that is your plan, I will." Written Febuary 19th, 11:10 AM.

So what did God do? He put it on so many people's hearts to donate that I overshot the cost of the trip by 200 dollars (and more checks might still come)! He made it more than possible for me to go. In fact, he even made it possible for me to help someone else go. He only could have made His plan more obvious if He had painted "GO TO ARIZONA" on my bathroom mirror in flashing neon colors.

When God wants your attention, he gets it with the tact and subtlety of a sack of bricks. When I was trying to listen to a hundred different people and freaking out about which one God was speaking through, the answer was simply none of them. Because when God wants to be heard, He is the King of Overkill.