This is a great blog question! I love it! I think we could have really deep discussions if we all put some effort into it. This is quite possibly the longest post I've ever made and it'll probably be the longest one any of you ever read. So buckle up for a joy ride!
I love the concept of God Room. I had heard the ideal of it preached before, but I had never heard this type of faith put into such simple terms. God Room is very easily defined: "Set your goal, standard, or promise so high that it would be humanly impossible for it to be fulfilled. Then you step back and let God begin doing his thing." This can be applied to almost anything in life. You could apply it to making free throws in basketball, to raising money for Haiti, or for bringing 5 people to Christ in the next year. I would say that God Room could apply to studying or good grades, but it's usually a bad idea to "step back" in your homework. You just have to use God Room whenever you have committed yourself to something that you know you can't finish.
Now have I ever consciously applied God Room to my life? Not that I can remember. I tried to apply it at the free throw line the other night in practice, but it didn't really work. I guess if I would apply myself to go practice free throws more often, I'd be more consistent in my shooting. There is one specific time that I'll recall that I subconsciously used God Room. Well, I guess I'll start with a story of someone I know who knows the ins and outs of God Room. Then I'll get to my story.
My dad works for a company called ABC (not the real name). ABC processes state medicaid, such as TennCare. They work in various states in the US. Several years ago, ABC had an account in Texas, and my dad was the #2 guy in the account, the second-from-the-top guy. He had worked for ABC around 10 years by now. After a series of unfortunate events, ABC no longer had an account in Texas. Dad didn't have a job. We were all sad to know that we would have to move out-of-state. My parents had lived in Texas for 20 years, and my brother and I spent our first years there. Dad found a good position in ABC’s Indiana account, so we moved to Indianapolis in 2004.
In Indiana, he was the #1 guy, which meant he worked more but also got a higher pay. Two years later however, another series of unfortunate events occurred. That left my dad without a job in the Indiana account. He managed to work from home for a year or two while doing regional work. That was a good year, but after a while, we knew we'd have to move again.
My dad found a great position in ABC's Tennessee account. He would be working with some people he knew from the ABC in Texas. He would be the #2 guy, and the #1 guy in the account was from Texas. Since the account manager and my dad were old friends, the account manager told my dad that he would retire in a year or so. My parents told my brother and me in January of 07 that we would move to Nashville in the summer. My family knew that there was a chance that the ABC contract with Tennessee would go up for bid again in January of 08, but we weren't worried. Because the housing market in Indy was so bad and because we built a house here, we didn't move until December 15. Three weeks later, disaster happened. The state awarded the contract to another company instead of ABC. We were crushed. You guys have all seen our house. It took us a grueling 6 months to build this house and we were frustrated that we had to give it up. We still hadn't unpacked all of the boxes from the move. Anyway, throughout the next year and a half, the other company messed up their move-in procedures so bad that the state stripped them of the contract and awarded it to ABC. Dad signed the 4 year contract last June. Dad has now been working for ABC for 23 years. My dad's career is a very good example of God Room. I haven't even told you most of the details because if I did, you'd fall asleep from the long story. It isn't boring. It's just long.
Now here is where I come in. My youth pastor, Troy Perry, continuously dropped hints that he loved Wiis. He also loves free food, but that is another story. Troy and Sara, his wife, are considered young to be a youth pastor's family. Troy is a 29-year-old Southern Baptist youth pastor with a 24-year-old wife and a 3-year-old son with heart problems. He's the youth pastor a church with a leaking roof and attendance of maybe 120. Last September, I thought of a cool idea. I figured that the youth group could put enough money together to buy Troy and Sara a Wii for Christmas to thank them for the great things they have done for us. I figured it was time we did something for them.
There was a problem, however. The kids in the youth group aren't rich. Most are 8th or 9th graders who don't have jobs or a lot of extra spending money. I knew I would be lucky if each student gave me at least 5 or 10 bucks. I told David my idea, and he sarcastically (no duh, right?) said he wasn't sure about it. So I went to a 16-year-old girl in the youth group named Adrianna. She loved the idea, so we tag-teamed. Operation: Blushy Leprechaun was under way! See, Troy is bald with blushy cheeks, a very long red goatee, and pointy ears, so we joke he looks like a leprechaun. Adrianna and I set a goal of how much money we wanted to reach. We decided that we wanted to give Troy the Wii at the Christmas party on December 6th. After I got back from Thanksgiving vacation, we still only had a third of what we needed. Several people has said that they would help, but things looked dim.
Adrianna and I got into a routine of texting people daily, reminding them that we still needed money and that we needed it by December 6. Mom and I found a great Wii bundle and we jumped at the great deal. However, we still hadn't collected all of the money yet. We still needed at least a third of our goal. I began to really hope we'd reach the goal we had set. I knew that since the whole thing was my idea, I would be paying from my own pocket if that's what it came down to. When I went home after the last Wednesday night before December 6th, I counted the money we had. The final count was 9 dollars more than we spent on the Wii.
It was an eye-opening experience for me because it was the first time in my life where I actually had to rely on God for money. There was always one more elderly neighbor to work for or one more lawn to mow. However, in Operation: Blushy Leprechaun, I had exhausted all of my resources and had to pray that God would help. He didn't let me down. That's just one of dozens of experiences at Madison First where I've grown.