The Price of Disobedience
Last fall was a rather intense time for me. I was a practicum student at the hospital, earning my clinical therapy hours for my doctorate degree. I worked at the hospital (for free) 2 days a week. I also wrote notes and reports regarding the patience I had seen. Additionally, I was taking two classes and performing wife and mom tasks. I worked around the clock whether it be writing reports, studying, going to Walmart, cooking dinner, or helping with homework. One Friday night, I got home from the hospital, plopped down on the couch, still in my white lab-coat, and put my feet on the coffee table. I was physically exhausted! My husband and children were at the local high school soccer game. It was the championship play-offs for two local rival teams. I thought to myself, “I need to check my email and see if the graphic artists, Libby, has sent a new proof of The Warrior Mom Handbook…” but deep down inside me, I knew I should stay put and never mind email or anything else until the next morning. I disregarded this “warning,” and I got up to check my email. I had been working on a big paper so my laptop and piles of papers were on the dining room table. Earlier that week, I asked God for increased insight and vigilance. I said, “If the devil were to try to take me out right now, what would he do to me?” Immediately, I knew that he would do something bad to my laptop. So, in an effort to play it safe, I left my laptop at home all week. I didn’t take it to school or the hospital. I was being careful. In fact, after I check my email that night, I thought, “I better move my laptop back into the office where it will be safe.” So, I picked it up, and quickly turned and took a step at the same time. I felt a quick jerk on my left shin, and the next thing I knew I was traveling through the air, praying my head would not hit the step going into the kitchen (I was treating patients with brain injuries and I did not want to be a patient myself!) and then I realized my laptop was out of my hands, flying through the air – soaring in slow motion. Then, time sped up, I heard my laptop crack against the wall, bounce of the railing and skid across the living room, scooting to a tilted over position next to the book case on the far side of the room. I, on the other hand, landed right before the step, face down in the carpet. As I collected myself and brushed my hair out of my face, I searched for my laptop and saw it sitting on the other side of the room. I crawled over to it, knowing that something was very wrong with it. Sure enough, the screen looked like a Woodstock poster, colors and designs all over the screen, but it wasn’t a screen saver; it was the results of a screen death!
“Noooooooooooooooooo!” I yelled. And, I did yell it. It was the point in the semester where one cannot even begin to afford such a fatal blow. I had a research paper due, many reports due for the hospital, and study notes for my classes and upcoming mid-terms (all due and/or happening next week!), let alone the amount of Warrior Mom material I had on the computer!I won’t take the time to go into all the details of praying, running around, and sleepless nights that ensued after the fall, but I will tell you a very important thing I learned: Obedience is key to victory and even before victory, it’s the key to survival! I now know that the Holy Spirit was nudging me to “not check my email!” but I ignored Him. Never again will I ignore the Holy Spirit. In fact, I now pray that I will hear and see Him and know what He is warning and/or telling me. If I get a nudge to not go to a particular gas station, not write a paper on a particular subject, and/or if I get a nudge to call someone or do something (whether it be as simple as reaching for a glass of water or not), I do it. This incident taught me that God knows much more than us, and He has the Holy Spirit give us hints, but we must listen and be vigilant to His presence. We must ask Him to show us, and help us to see what it is we are supposed to do or not do at any given moment.
Yesterday, I got gas on the way home. I typically use my debit card which keeps me from having to go inside the gas station. On this particular day God said, “Pay with cash.” So, I went inside and paid $20 on pump 4. I half thought I would meet someone or help someone inside. I was excited thinking God was sending me on a mission to encourage someone or deliver a miracle to them inside this gas station. However, nothing exceptional happened. I paid, walked out, got gas, and left. I believe God was just testing my obedience to see if I had truly learned this important lesson. On the way home I said, “Well, I don’t understand why You wanted me to go inside and pay with cash, but I was obedient; help me to always be obedient to Your press, regardless if I see or understand Your reason.” Even as I type this manuscript, my broken laptop is hooked up to my old home-office computer screen. You see, the screen broke, but the computer did not break. My husband figured all of this out in about 4 days. So, fortunately, I lost 4 days of work-time, but I didn’t lose weeks of work! Thank God. Nevertheless, if I look straight ahead at my laptop screen, I see beautiful colors of a messed up screen: a reminder to be obedient. I look to the left and type these words, watching them appear on my old computer screen, and I am reminded of the price of disobedience at the very minimal, yet highly profound, level.
I have learned that obedience, like sin, does not have ranges or degrees to it. Disobedience always carries with it an intensity that we cannot begin to measure, with consequences that are endless. I believe that when we learn to be obedient, even in seemingly little, insignificant things, God gives us big assignments because He knows that we now know, anything He tells us, or tells us to do or not do – is profound!
“His master replied, ‘Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.
Originally published Tuesday, 25 August 2015.