Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Willingness (02/21/05)
TITLE: I Can't Find a Date!
By Chris Miller
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my heart filled with panic as I heard the squeals and screams outside my dorm room. Apparantly,
many other girls on the floor did have dates.
Lying on my bed, I tried to concentrate on my lit assignment, but Thomas Hardy just wasn’t
cutting it this early spring evening. Wrapping my pillow around my face, I tried to smother my
sobs. I didn’t want anyone to know how much this was bothering me.
My boyfriend of a couple years and I had parted ways in the last few months. I knew he was
still a possibility for the banquet but not an ideal choice. Our on and off relationship needed to end
for good. Spending an evening with him would be more painful than pleasant at this late stage.
Another discouraging point was the Houghton College adage, “The garbage gets taken out more
than the girls.” Somehow, many of the Christian guys were either too busy, too shy, or too
broke to do much dating. All this data brought me back to the same mournful conclusion, “No,
there aren’t any more fish in the sea.”
Over the next few days, I whined to the Lord. I became convinced that lack of a date showed
that He didn’t really love me. I couldn’t handle being left out of this very special college
expereience. Arguing and complaining represented my version of a prayer life those last couple
weeks before the big event.
At one point, it seemed as if the Lord were saying, “Are you willing to be cheerful even if you
don’t go to the banquet?”
I couldn’t believe it. Ok, so if I didn’t go, I didn’t go, but cheerful? That was extremely unfair.
I had a right to my cloak of self-pity, didn’t I?
Over the next couple days, I mulled and mumbled. One particular chapel service stands out in
my mind, however. I can’t remember the sermon, or anything else about that half hour, except
that I came out of the chapel with a changed heart.
I didn’t try to change, but somehow, it just hit me, that the Lord didn’t have to prove his love
for me by giving me a date for the banquet. He had already done that two thousand years ago at
Calvary. He owed me nothing. This realization brought tears to my eyes, but this time they were
tears of joy. My heart felt lighter than it had in awhile. Thankfully, I felt like I’d jumped some
impossibly high hurdle.
Later that following week-end, I heard someone screaming down the hallway, “Phone call for
Chris Miller.” Curiously, I ran down the hall toward the fourth floor lounge.
Amazingly enough, one fish was still swimming around campus. Dan Kellar wanted to know if I
would like to be his date for the senior banquet. I tried to play it cool as I accepted, but I could
hardly wait to get off the phone so I could spread the news.
Later that evening, it dawned on me that this experience had spiritual implications. God knew
that I had changed my attitutde about attending the banquet. Perhaps, he just wanted me to be
willing to give up my dream.
I’d like to say that over the years the lesson got locked in for good. The Lord has used many
circumstances, however, to help me retrace those steps from rebellion toward acceptance.
Often I’ve told Him, “I’m not really willing, but You have my permission to change my heart.”
I can firmly attest, He has always been faithful to this prayer.
Genesis 22:16,17. “By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and
have not withheld your son, your only son--blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will
multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore;”
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