Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Who Is In Charge?

This real-life story comes from Dr. Dan Boen (CCCOI). The story resonated with me, as I seek to spend each day going God's way...which usually results in the "right" things coming together. Are you too busy? Tired, stressed out, over worked and weary? Maybe you, like Benjamin in this story, need to let God be the boss.


When anyone gets a DUI it is not good. When an attorney gets a DUI it is even worse. It could mean their license to practice law, especially if they get another DUI.

Benjamin (not his real name) had just received his first DUI and it really shook him up. Ben was concerned about the possibility of losing his law license and his livelihood. As an attorney he had become extremely successful and that was part of his problem. The more clients he had, the longer hours he worked and the more stress he was under. The more stress he was under the harder it was for him to relax and the less time he had to unwind, so he drank. And the more stress, the more drink.

With this in mind, we worked to turn his practice over to God and let God be the boss. He wanted to know what this would look like in practice. I asked him what time he normally got to work each morning? He said usually around 8:00 am. I said "tomorrow when you get to work, don't do anything unless the Lord tells you to."

"What!" he exclaimed. "Do you have any idea how busy I am and how my business really works?" "I work on billable hours or minutes so each minute I don't work costs me money. Do you have idea what a minute of my time is worth?"

"No," I replied. "I have no idea."

"A lot," he said. "A lot." "Besides," he added, "how would I even know what God wanted? Is he going to show up in my office or send me a memo?"

"No", I responded. "I don't know how God will direct you."

"Then how will I know what to do?" he asked.

"You ask him," I replied.

"What do I ask him and how do I know when he answers?" he asked.

"You simply ask him what do you want me to do now or what do you want me to do next," I replied.

"Then what?" he asked.

"Then you wait," I said, "and that is where it gets interesting."

"What do you mean interesting?" he asked.

"God speaks in many ways and he speaks to each of us in that unique way where only we may know, but we do know it's Him speaking," I replied.

" Boen," he exclaimed, "you're nuts!"

And on that note he left.

A week later he came back in.

"Boen," he said, "when I left here I thought two things. First, I thought you were 'certifiable' and should probably be put in a rubber room. Second, I thought what a waste of money this counseling is; however, when I told my wife and partner this they both said 'Ben, what do you have to lose? You have tried everything else on your own and nothing else has worked. You are still uptight and working too hard." "So I decided as 'cock-o-may-me' as your advice may be, I would give it a try."

"When I got into my office on Monday morning I shut the door," he said, "since I didn't want anyone to see me not working. However," he continued, "I still felt foolish just sitting there in my office waiting for God to tell me what to do."

"So what did you do?" I asked.

"Well, I did what you told me," he replied. "I asked God 'what do you want me to do?' and then I sat and waited."

"Do you know how long five minutes is when you are sitting with a lot to do, needing to make money and earn a living, with anxious clients and staff waiting on your work?"

"No," I replied.

"Then think how long ten, fifteen, and finally twenty minutes is to a guy like me!" he exclaimed. "By the end of twenty minutes I was ready to make a new door in my office by running screaming through the wall behind me. But just when I was ready to give up and throw in the towel on this whole idea I felt a sense of direction. I don't know how else to describe it. It was just this persistent feeling that I should work on a certain specific case. Now to understand how unusual this was you have to understand two things. One, my office looks like a mess with files all over the place although I know where everything is and two; I had a case due that day that needed to be filed with the Clerk of Courts for a court date on Thursday. With these two things in mind you can imagine my surprise and dismay when I felt God leading me to work on a case in a pile four piles over and at the bottom of the pile and a case that was also not due for a month. But I did it anyway."

"Wow!" I exclaimed, "That must have been really difficult for you to do."

"That was one way I knew it was from God and not my idea," he responded. "And the other way came later."

"What was that?" I asked.

"About noon after working on the case all morning, and I must say having the most fun in a long time working on a case since everything just seemed to come together, my secretary stuck her head in my office and said she was going to lunch and would I like her to bring me back a sandwich since I had ?buried' myself in my office all morning with my door closed. Something I usually didn't do. ?Yeah,' I told her, ?I could go for a sandwich right now especially since I don't have that case ready for the Clerk of Courts for Thursday's court date.' ?About that,' she said, ?the Clerk of Courts just called about 15 minutes ago and the other attorney is out of town this week and won't be ready for court on Thursday so they asked if you would be willing to switch dates and use this time for another case that has been pushed up?"

"Guess what case got pushed up?" he asked. "The case I had been working on all morning and just finished before she stuck her head in. I was blown away. There was absolutely no way I could have known or would have guessed that on my own. ?Boen,' he said, ?you are certifiable, but so am I. For now I would deny what just happened in a court of law, but between you and me and my wife and partner I know who is in charge and will continue to listen to Him."

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