It occurs to me that God may have set up the experiment of freedom in America--freedom to find him or to walk away--because it requires of us the complete opposite of the American Dream.
One is self-made; the other submission-made. In the midst of our self-made journey, God in essence asks us to apply as a server's assistant, to work as an underling for and with God, to become a nobody in our own eyes to make room for the largeness of the True God.
In the prime of our career path, he says, "Are you willing to give up whatever I ask of you and follow Me?"
We've been watching Dr. Gilbert Roller (see Days 1-3) struggle with his inside voice that, for years, reminded him that his mom had been swindled of her life savings. Dr. Roller, with his outside voice, told his mom that she had been duped. She told her son that she felt like God led her to give two strangers money to build a mission in Mexico.
God has a voice. When we give that voice the largest vote, it seeks to transform our inside voice with new understanding. Once bridled, our inside voice can sail with God--on that sea of submission--to incredible outcomes that only he can design and in which we can triumph. Our outside voice can be a testimony of praise to this journey.
God is the God of outcomes.
When Dr. Roller retired, he and his wife traveled cross-country to California, staying in campgrounds along the way. In a campground in Missouri, a neighbor camper wandered over and commented on their Kentucky license plates. He asked Dr. Roller his line of work. "Retired now," he said, "but I used to teach music theory."
The man paused, "You know anyone by the name of Roller?"
"Yes, actually, my name is Roller."
The man smiled. "Many years ago, my wife and I met a woman in Texas named Roller. She had a son in Kentucky who taught music. She gave us quite a lot of money. Viola Roller."
What would you do in this moment?
Dr. Roller says his blood ran cold. His inside voice had turned the matter over to God but he had no idea there could be any outcome except the one he had imagined all along. But you see, that's just it--if we let him, God gets the last word in beautiful and mysterious ways that always carry us to better places.
The man ducked into his RV before Dr. Roller could react. He came out with a photo, a simple adobe building with a cross on its roof, with a sign out front: Roller Capilla.
Dr. Roller heard these words, "Roller Chapel, named for the woman who made it possible."
Our inside voices, transformed through the struggle to submit to God's voice, will always end with our outside voices of praise. The freedom we have in America could be God's loudest instrument of triumph.
Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.