Friday, December 2, 2022

Politicians, Eunuchs, and Journeys

Suggested Reading: Acts 8:26-40

When I was in college I discovered I had a gift for languages. I could already speak Spanish, but I studied Hebrew and Greek as well, discovered that I could decipher written Portuguese and took a couple semesters of French and German. Because of my newfound love of languages I began researching post-grad degrees and, through a time of prayer and decision making, decided that I should go to Oxford to study linguistics. Instead of graduating in December like I would have otherwise, I decided to graduate the following May to avoid some complications that would have arisen from waiting the 8 months between December and August to start grad school. Because I was going to stick around for a full year instead of just a semester I continued being active in Love Company, the university's drama ministry group. Being part of Love Company that year is how I met my wife. But because I met my wife, I did not end up going to Oxford. To this day, I feel strongly that God wanted me headed to Oxford if for no other reason than so that I would stick around another year in order to meet my wife.

I was reminded of that experience a while back when someone made a comment about God being wrong when God told a particular politician to run for president because the run had been unsuccessful. The commenter assumed that when God tells a person to do something the only point is accomplishing the task itself.

In Acts 8 an angel of the Lord told Philip to go to a particular road going from Jerusalem to Gaza. Acts 8:27 says, "So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch" (NIV).  Upon meeting this eunuch, Philip was able to share the Gospel with him and baptize him, and then Philip was transported away by the Spirit of the Lord, never actually reaching his destination.  Now, God definitely told Philip to go to a particular destination, but the destination was never the point of the trip. Sometimes, God leads us in a particular direction because there is something we need to learn or experience or something we need to do along the way but God is never really concerned with the destination.

I cannot speak to whether or not God told that politician to run for president, but I can say, based on scripture and on my own experience, that sometimes the point is the journey, not the destination Now, if the man had said, "God told me I would be president," we'd know he was a liar. But just the fact that a venture is "unsuccessful" does not mean God didn't speak or that God was wrong.

If you thought that God had called you to do something you never managed to accomplish, don't assume that you heard God wrong, look back and see if there was something else that happened along the way. I would never have met my wife if I hadn't been preparing for Oxford. Philip would never had led the eunuch to Jesus if he hadn't headed down the road toward Gaza. And there is no telling what you will experience along the path God has called you to follow.

God very often calls us to journeys, not just to destinations.

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