Saturday, September 1, 2018

Discernment From Above, Literally

Years ago when I was the Program Director and on-air personality for WQKT in Wooster, Ohio, I had the honor and misfortune of providing live coverage of our July 4th town festivities. This was huge. There were bands, activities for adults and children, and, of course, the large fireworks show. But this particular year we had an extra-special attraction - skydivers! As a person attending the event, that sounded awesome. As a broadcasting representative of a primary sponsor of the event, it was a nightmare.

Here’s why; I was not only given the responsibility of broadcasting the event, but I was also placed in the role of crowd control. I had never tried to corral a crowd before, let alone be live on the air and describing the view of skydivers risking their lives and seemingly mine simultaneously. Furthermore, my specialty was in the studio - I knew nothing about play-by-play broadcasting. So there I was one of many vested people holding a rope and trying to keep a crowd in place while looking up trying to figure out how to describe someone apparently attempting to land on my head.

This was not comfortable. I was so far out of my comfort zone that I panicked. As the last skydiver approached, he decided it would be cute to see how close he could get to my section of the crowd before actually landing. On a live microphone, I waved my arm over the people and shouted, “GET DOWN!” At least 20 people in front of me fell backward on one another like it was a Benny Hinn rally. I joined them. I had no clue how to discern how close the ground that man really was.

I’m certain the skydiver had a great laugh at us as he sailed overhead at what turned out to be a pretty safe distance after all.

Discerning isn’t always easy. Discerning God’s leadership can be especially tricky. It requires all of us to leave our comfort zones and ask God for direction. There are tremendous challenges that come with stepping into the unknown. Faith can be an adventure that leads us to places we never thought we’d be. From a guy who grew up in Northern Ohio and had a decent radio career going (notwithstanding the above incident), I never dreamed I’d one day be a preacher in Richmond, Virginia! Trust me.

What is God’s direction for you? For me? For your church? If you do not know the answers, don’t panic...join me in exercising faith through prayer! And keep your eye on the sky.

For your consideration:

  • How do I maintain a sense of God's direction in my life?
  • What parts of my comfort zone are holding me back from powerful experiences?
  • What best practices can I use when I need to discern?
  • Who can I call on for help when I feel like I've lost my way?

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