Exceptional Moments

Oswald Chambers states in My Utmost For His Highest…One of the worst traps a Christian worker can fall into become obsessed with his own exceptional moments of inspiration. When a speaker feels this exceptional inspiration, he tends to think that he had reached some kind of plateau and from this time forth, he will speak with exceptional inspiration but this is not the case according to Chambers. These moments are a gift from God and they are few and far between. When I read Chambers devotion on this subject, two experiences came to mind: only two and I am 65 years old.

Both happened in my middle years. I don’t have dates but I do remember the events. The first took place in Falkville High School auditorium. I had been ask by the Superintendent of Education to speak to the Morgan County Teachers which is a tradition here in Morgan County. The teachers are required to attend although some do not come into the auditorium, they have to be on the premises. I was as nervous as a long tale cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I was so afraid that I could barely stand on my feet without falling. They had ask me to do this motivational speech in 10 minutes or less and so I picked out a story from Chicken Soup For The Soul. The story was about a 5th grade teacher named Mrs. Thompson and a student she befriended and inspired. The young man eventually became a doctor and all because of Mrs. Thompson affirmation. It is a good story. They introduced me and I stepped to the microphone. I had rehearsed the story over and over and of course I was concerned about getting it right. The moment I spoke the first work, a calmness came over me. I relaxed completely which is very unusual for me. The story came out with unusual ease and the audience was captivated. You could have heard a pin drop. I don’t know who was in greater shock, myself or some of the teachers who had known me for years. When I finished, I exited back stage and went to my vehicle and departed. I was in a state of shock. Never had I seen God work in my life in this particular way before. It was beyond explanation and I knew without doubt that it was not me, not the everyday me. One of the teachers was so impressed that she found out where I preached and the next Sunday, she was in the audience. I’m sure you know the rest of the story, she was really disappointed. She thought I could reproduce the moment. I saw her disappointment when she came to speak to me after the service and I tried to explain to her that the  Teacher Motivational Speech was not really me but I don’t think understood.

The second exception moment came at the Morgan County Sheriff’s Boys Ranch where I was invited by Billy Joe Smith to speak to the Civitan Clubs Annual Christmas Dinner. I was a bit intimidated because this club is made up of what I call “Big Whigs”. There are no poor people in this group. By the world’s standards, they were all highly successful. Billy Joe is like my friend Jerry, he can hob knob with either side, the common folk like myself or the Big Whigs but I was out of my element. It was Christmas and my job was to bring a short devotion before we ate our meal. I was not supposed to preach the gospel and I had no intentions of doing so. When I got up to speak, the Holy Spirit took over. He hit the over ride button and muted me, then He began speaking through me. I knew what was going on and I also knew that there would be a price to pay later but I have to admit it was some more experience. The gospel was shared in unusual clarity and power. No one responded, but the message was presented. I think everyone was in shock and no one was impressed. The bad news was I could not escape the scene, Bobby Joe had ask me to stay for the dinner. During the course of the lunch, I met some of the folks I had offended. The Decatur Daily was there, along with several State Representatives and a Senator or two. When I drove away that December day, I knew what had happened and prayed that it would happen more often.

According to Oswald Chambers, God will not allow us to have too many of these exceptional moments because He knows we will begin to worship the moments, or perhaps write a book and try to capitalize on the moment. He quotes the Apostle Paul from 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word in season and out of season.” Preach the word when you feel inspired and when you don’t. If we wait for supernatural inspiration, we will do little or nothing. Our objective is to be obedient regardless to how we feel. By the way, I was never invited back to speak to either group. I was shocked by the first but I knew I would not be asked back to the Civitan Club. I have no regrets because I know who did it! I do wish He could trust me with that kind of inspiration all the time.

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