Every now and then you need a back up plan. How many times have we had to go to our Plan "B" in some situation in our lives? For me, it happens quite frequently. You see, even as OCD as I am, I still operate on impulse a lot. I'm not an impulse shopper, so that's good, but when it comes to decision making, I'm not one to sit around and fret or worry about it forever. Now, I'm not a "jump all the way in with both feet guy" all of the time, but sometimes I get an idea in my head, and I do it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
I've had some really good things happen to me because of those impulse decisions, and I've had some things bite me in the tail. But I'm not alone. I'm actually in pretty good company. This morning's readings have one of the most familiar, and most epic, failures in the Old Testament: the story of David and Bathsheba. I don't know that David had heard Mel Brooks say, "It's good to be the king..." but evidently that was what he lived by.
Scripture says: "In the spring, at the time when the kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and beseiged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, 'Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, and wife of Uriah the Hittite?' Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him and he slept with her. Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, 'I am pregnant.'"
Ok, so that didn't work like he planned, I'm sure. This one impulse decision would set in motion a series of events that would create some major problems for the king, and would turn out even worse for Uriah. Now, I'm not judging him by any means. I have made many mistakes in the last 39 years, so I judge no one. I'm just saying that this impulse decision would lead to David having to engage his Plan "B", and would leave Uriah dead, Bathsheba widowed, the child conceived by David and Bathsheba dead, and the king shamed by Nathan.
In my day to day, this is not so much a problem. where I get into trouble is when I feel impulsive in ministry related decisions. It's so easy to feel a nudge, think it's from God, and act on it, only to find out that it was really just something Jamie wanted and not from God at all. Then I have to engage Plan "B" to get everything straightened out.
This has happened in the last couple weeks. I began feeling the nudge to do something. I've even blogged about it a couple times. But the more I think about it, was I hearing boredom speak, or was it actually the voice of God? Now don't get me wrong, I can't say enough how much I love serving these two churches. I have the appointment that pastors only dream of. But, and this came from one of my members, maybe I was the one slipping into a rut and not my folks? Could be I guess.
This is one time that not acting on impulse has kept me from having to engage my Plan "B" and fix everything. So, First Church, you can relax. I will wait for the Spirit to move the church...and myself. I will, however, keep listening to the Spirit, and thinking. So you're safe...for now.
Oh, and David's Plan "B"? Since he couldn't convince Uriah to go home and sleep with Bathsheba, he had him sent to the battle front and indirectly had him killed. Yeah, real nice guy.