The surprising discovery of Richard McChurch

by Rod Smith

Richard knows God speaks.....

Richard McChurch was very aware that God’s a communicating God. The still small voice or the thunderous call, and anything in between, (whichever God might choose to use at a given time) was not something to which he often laid claim. When Richard felt God had spoken to him, he was always particular about inserting the words “I believe God spoke to me.” This not only gave him room to be wrong but also the appearance of humility.

One day he had a very unsettling experience. It was as if everything he had ever believed about hearing God’s voice was turned upside down.

“What do you really want, Richard?” God asked when Richard was very earnestly praying about a few major decisions.

The question was posed long and hard. It lodged somewhere deep in Richard. There were no voices, no unusual feelings. This was a “matter-of-fact God” meeting him, as if face-to-face. There was no mistaking who it was as far as Richard was concerned.

“Go on, figure it out Richard. What do you really want?” he felt God say.

It was, pondered Richard, as if God was playfully saying, “Stop asking me what I want for you. I know what I want for you. I am God. I am not at all confused about what I want for you. What I require is that you get the courage to determine what you want for you. Do this, Richard, and we can do business.”

Richard was nervous. In his silent negotiations, random and scary thoughts began darting across his mind. It was very disconcerting.

Richard was full of questions

“What if I want to break up my family, hurt someone? Steal something?” he questioned God.

“Is that what you really want? You want to go around hurting people? Do you really want to take what is not yours? Do you think damaging others is what you were cut out for?”

“No Lord.”

“Then quit the games, Richard.”

He felt God’s persistent voice welling up inside him.

“I am asking you to evaluate, for yourself, how you would most like to use your many talents. Take stock of the time you have left, the opportunities that come your way. You keep saying I will grant you ‘the desires of your heart’ Richard. But you know what? You wouldn’t recognize them if they jumped out at you from behind a bush. I am asking you to take the responsibility for your life. What inspires you, Richard? Develop a blueprint, Richard. Discover and know yourself, Richard. Present ME with a plan instead of continually asking me for my plan. Find my plan buried like treasure, in your strongest desires and longings. Grow up, in other words!”

Richard was shocked to hear God speak in this manner. He had always been taught that God had a plan for his life and for many years he had waited “in faith” for that plan to unfold. Now, it sounded, yes, it sounded as if God expected him to actually do something!

“That’s the problem!” God interrupted his confusion, “you want to give me the responsibility for your life when I want you to be responsible for your own life. You think my will is something deep and mysterious. It’s not. In fact my will for you is that you discover and do what you really want! Just make sure it is what you really want.”

Richard thought long and hard. He realized, to his horror that he really did not like his career. He’d chosen it purely for money and status. He realized that even his sports interests were built around promoting his career. He sat in stunned silence. Richard realized that if he honestly answered the question he was in trouble.

“What I really want to do God, is so far from what I am doing that it will take a miracle from you to turn it around,” he said in desperation.

“No,” said God, “it will take one from you.”

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