When I considered whether to publish this post on my personal blog or ministry site, I decided both, because it is a good story, and it is fundamental to my calling. So here goes…
A few weeks ago, I taught a workshop at a LEAH conference in Rochester, NY. LEAH is a fantastic Christian organization that helps equip, train, and encourage homeschooling parents. While I have taught in small groups and classes, this was my first time on a larger platform.
I was speaking on Scripture memorization, using principles from my book with special emphasis on how to make ingesting God’s Word fun and inviting for children.
*-Teaching on memorizing – note that point, it is important later.
So, I arrive at the conference center and find a nice corner spot in the parking garage. I deliberately stopped to note the floor indicator sign and even said it out loud. Then I headed in and delivered my presentation – on memorizing.
Immediately afterwards, I went to drop my belongings off at my truck before heading out to dinner with friends. I was still shaken from a nasty spiritual attack that hit just before I spoke, but was feeling grateful that God made things go pretty well.
Let the lesson begin…
I got out of the parking garage elevator at Level 3, just as I remember reciting. I turn, and…
It was level 3, was it not?
Ummm, apparently not, because my truck is not here.
The biblical resonance quickly occurred to me. Oh, good one, God, teaching me to be humble, and that it is not by my strength or memory but only by yours. Got it. Sure, that’s funny.
Then I remembered my mistake. It was Level 5, not 3, right, that is it. Back in the elevator. Pushed the 5 button. Exit the elevator, and…
No… but… it was…
Now I am completely at a loss. Whatever number I stared at and spoke aloud when trying to put this data into my memory just a few hours earlier had vanished without a trace. I could feel myself searching frantically through my mental filing cabinet only to discover an empty spot where that memory should be.
I’ve got nothing.
Completely dumbfounded, I began questioning everything <insert Twilight Zone music here>.
I did drive here, right? I know I left my truck in this nice corner spot… Or did I? … Where am I? … Is that floor of the parking garage missing? No, it must be here. It simply must.
And yet it is not.
After a few moments of unbelief and denial, I resigned to the fact that my eyes were not lying to me and my truck was indeed not on this floor. But if not here, where?
Not. A. Clue.
I seriously wondered if God removed that entire floor to teach me a lesson. Not 30 minutes ago I publicly taught on remembering, and now I cannot remember where my truck is. How ironic, hilarious, humbling, and classic is that?
I was now in a state of total helplessness. Okay, God, message received. I got it. I will never, never, ever take credit for anything you do through me because this is obviously not my skill making it happen.
Figuring God was messing with me and hoping that He would now re-insert the level of the parking garage where I left my truck back into the structure, I decided to try level 6, even though it did not sound the least bit familiar.
Get out of the elevator, eureka! There it was. Level 6.
Not in a million years would I have guessed that.
Okay well maybe within a few hours because there were only so many floors in the garage. But at that moment, it was as foreign as if I had never heard of the number 6 before in my life.
Granted, I do have PTSD, which results in memory problems, and I was tired and shaken after enduring spiritual warfare. Yet you cannot escape the classic irony of this situation.
Therefore, I humbly offer my public confession that any and all good that comes from my book or my efforts to spread the word about the dire importance of imprinting God’s Word in our hearts and minds, it is only by God’s grace and strength, so all glory be solely to Him.
My flesh and my heart <and my memory> may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Ps 73