Published October 4, 2016

Shelia Shares

As readers of this column know, I like a good story that points to a Scriptural truth. How much attention are you paying to God? Today Pastor Bill provides a column reminding us that God has ways of "encouraging" us to listen. The story is shared in a daily devotional and available on Pastor Bill's website, used here by permission.

- Shelia

"Tennis Ball Illumination"
by Pastor Bill

Scripture: Jonah 1:1-3 "The Lord gave this message to Jonah son of Amittai: "Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are. But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the Lord" — NLT (Bible Paraphrase)

A college professor had the mysterious habit of removing a tennis ball from his sport coat pocket as he walked into the lecture hall each morning. He would set it on the corner of the podium. After giving the lecture for the day, he would once again pick up the tennis ball, place it into his sport coat pocket, and leave the room.

No one ever understood why he did this, until one day it happened. Out of nowhere — no one saw it coming! A student fell asleep during his lecture. The professor didn't miss a word while he walked over to the podium, picked up the tennis ball, cocked his left arm, and threw it. His speed and accuracy paralleled a major league pitcher throwing in the World Series. Seventeen rows away — the fifth seat in from the right aisle — he hit the sleeping student squarely on the top of the head. It was a strike heard all throughout the campus.

The next day, the professor walked into the room. He reached into his sport coat and this time removed a black pool ball with the number eight on it! The students silently, but effectively, got the message. No one — and I mean no one — ever fell asleep in his class again!

In the Bible we see similar examples. God has always found creative ways to get the attention of those who were not listening to Him.

Getting popped in the head with a tennis ball is nothing compared to what these giants of Biblical proportions went through. For stubborn me (testimony) it was a broken neck.

Pay attention to what Jesus is asking you to do and embrace the moment. There is a reason, His reason. And if perchance you make the decision to ignore His request don't worry too much — if Jesus wants your attention — His next invitation will certainly be a bit more than a tennis ball.

Prayer: Father I pray right now for any and all who are running away from Jesus. That they stop, turn around and fully engage and embrace their call. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

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