I started my morning that day just like I had a thousand times before; I was up at 5:30, fixed a pot of coffee, ate a bowl of cereal and then sat in front of the television and received my thirty minutes of important, must have, how does a person get along without it, sports news of the day. Twenty four hours of non-stop sports. And life was good.
But something was missing. Non-stop sports wasn’t filling my deep spiritual needs. I wasn’t growing in my prayer life, in my marriage, or in my relationships with my fellow-man. I wasn’t seeing any of the fruit of the Spirit; I didn’t exhibit love, joy, or peace, and my patience was pitiful. I wasn’t kind, good, gentle or faithful and my self-control was out of control.
So, as I sat there sipping my coffee and stared at the screen, listening to the blah, blah, blah of gibberish coming out of the mouths of the overpaid talking heads, something caught my eye. It was my bible, tucked safely away among the other books and magazines underneath the coffee table at my feet. Something was different about it though. I looked closer and noticed affixed to the cover a yellow sticky note. I wondered who had put it there. Since my wife and I are the only two people in the house, it had to be her. Unless of course the dog did it.
Upon closer inspection I could see writing on the sticky note; “Do Not Neglect Me” was written in an unfamiliar handwriting. I figured Julie was either playing a joke on me or was maybe trying to steer me in a particular direction. I thought about the message. Neglecting what? Or whom? Did the note mean neglecting God’s word, or did it mean neglecting God himself? Or were they one and the same? I decided not to wake Julie in order to find out and planned on confronting her when I came home. Meanwhile, my mind dwelt on the message the entire day.
When I came home, I asked Julie about the note. She claimed to know nothing about it. I was incredulous. “If you didn’t write the note, who did?” I asked. She asked to see the note. When she was done examining it, I asked, “So, did you write it?” She said she didn’t. I handed her the Bible again and said, “Well look what it says and tell me you didn’t write it.” She read the note out loud, “Be Anxious For Nothing.” I looked at her with a confused look and said, “Let me see that.” The yellow sticky note read, “Do Not Neglect Me” as it had before. I handed it back to Julie and said, “Read it again.” She read it out loud, “Be Anxious For Nothing.”
We both sat down on the couch, with the Bible between us, and while occasionally glancing at the sticky note and shaking our heads, we pondered our unique experience. Was this God writing to us as he had to Moses on the tablets or to Daniel on the wall? Or did someone sneak into our house and write the note? But how to explain the different messages seen by either of us? I wasn’t sure what to make of it, but since the message was the truth, I decided to listen to God’s prompting.
The next day I got up at 5:30, fixed a pot of coffee, ate a bowl of cereal and while sipping a cup of coffee, with the television screen dark and silent, I read my bible and prayed. And I’ve been reading it daily ever since. And I’m growing in my relationship with him and with others. And I’m actually beginning to exhibit fruit, the Spirit inspired kind. And I don’t even miss ESPN. And Julie, she doesn’t worry as much any more and has learned to take her concerns to God in prayer.
*The preceding drama was made up, but in only one aspect; the sticky note wasn’t really there. But God gets his message across however he chooses and could have chosen a sticky note if he so desired. Nevertheless, the message was delivered by him and received by me and my life is better for it today. I’ve replaced one god, ESPN, for the one true God. And when he speaks, it doesn’t sound like blah, blah, blah.