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When You Grow Up

What did you want to be when you grew up? I had friends who wanted to be firemen, doctors, lawyers. I was a little bit different, in that I wanted to be something along the lines of being a Prophet. The idea of being able to cast a staff out on the ground in front of some wicked pharaoh, and watch it turn into a snake was attractive to me. It seemed like a good job. Maybe it was a bit of a power thing, I must sadly confess, because the idea of calling a bear out of the wilderness to attack the people who might ridicule me was what I considered true clout. Now, I’ll tell you that my guardian angel was probably happy as a clam that I had chosen this future avocation, because it would mean that he wouldn’t have to get up a lot. He could relax while people were clubbing me over the head as a child, or surrounding me and pounding my head against concrete because I was sticking up for a young lady who was being ridiculed. (Getting surrounded by multiple people and clubbed or beaten was becoming a little bit of a theme in my life. As time went on, it seemed that I was escaping the ‘getting beaten part’, but I was still getting surrounded.)

Years later, I cannot tell you how disappointed I am that the closest I became to being a prophet is being a programmer. They do, however, both begin with P-R-O. Maybe someone in heaven was going down the list and they stopped at P-R-O-G. I can’t imagine that the Prophet job was filled up. In any case, I still aspire to prophecy. There’s plenty of wicked pharaohs to go around, and there are even pharaoh wannabees. Even our own President’s behavior toward Benjamin Netanyahu this past year has been pretty tantamount to saying, “get thee hence!” Like all pharaohs, he just doesn’t comprehend the signs: oil spills, massive river valley flooding, spiraling debt crises, national credit rating being downgraded, and increased involvement in foreign war activities, instead of decreased commitment. Are there any good areas for this current administration? He’s even had to tap into the stored silos of corn, or oil, stored up in good times because… guess what’s here: The lean cattle, the blasted ears of corn! A sign of prophets is that they end up living out, on a smaller scope, what the nation at large (whom they happen to be warning) will end up going through. Hosea married a woman who was unfaithful, and it brought him grief. This would become God’s grief with Israel. Jeremiah was imprisoned for many days in a well, standing up, unable to move, unable to rise up out of that deep hole until he was pulled out. That would be very much the fate of his people.

Many people have been called to be prophets, perhaps millions. Perhaps I have been called to speak a few words in a timely fashion. At this juncture, I will take a moment to apologize to my guardian angel. I hope he (or she) has a sense of humor. He or she has been very successful in protecting me in many cases, though I can’t lie, there have been times when I feel the creature has been noticeably recumbent, but I suppose that that is ether my fault, or simply by design.
Yes we are called to be pastors, prophets, priests, apostles, missionaries, healers, givers of charity, and interpreters of the words of life. Including the fact that I invested in the stock market at what may be turning out to be a bad time, and also including the fact that I tore my bicep trying to lift something too heavy for me alone, I, like all messengers, am living out on a small scale the hapless fate of the people I would hope to warn, or at least advise. I have concluded that a fairly consistent sign that one may be a messenger with a true warning is this: No one seems to listen. That’s in anything: at work, at home, anywhere. If that’s the case in your life, maybe God’s preparing you. Did you hear what I said? I said, Were you listening? Oh forget it…

Copyright June 26th 2011 by John P. Schumake


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