Have you ever noticed how often God answers our prayers in the most unusual way?
Recently I’ve had a number of experiences where I cried out to God for someone in need, in need of help for myself, or even encouragement during an extremely difficult time. He has answered my requests just not the way I expected him to. For those of us who are Christ followers, if we were honest, we would have to admit that more times then not – no make that most of the time God never answers our prayers the way we think he should.
While musing on this fact I started calling it God’s left field answers!
Now the phrase "out of left field" is popular vernacular (first attested in 1961) meaning "wildly unrelated to the subject being discussed", and "out in left field" means "a little crazy". One theory involves the "Death Valley" in Yankee Stadium circa 1923–1988. During this time period, the shape of the outfield in Yankee Stadium roughly approximated an oval, with the "long" portion pointing to left-center. A left-fielder would thus typically be stationed further back from the action than the center or right fielders, as he would have a greater amount of ground to cover. Hence, "out in left field" meant one was furthest from the action taking place at home-plate, and the most likely to draw erroneous, fanciful conclusions about that action. Another, likely apocryphal, theory is that this refers to the popularity of seats in right field at Yankee Stadium while Babe Ruth was playing that position; buying a seat in left field would have been "stupid". Another theory is that this arose at Chicago's second West Side Park, home of the Chicago Cubs from 1893 to 1915. After the Cubs moved to what is now Wrigley Field, the West Side Park property eventually became the home of the University of Illinois College of Medicine. The U of I built its Neuropsychiatric Institute building in what had been left field. A fourth theory is derived directly from the experience of players. A runner attempting to score from third base will have ones's [sic] back to left field, thus a throw to the plate "out of left field" can arrive seemingly out of nowhere as a surprise to the runner. (My thanks to Wikipedia.org)
When I pray I often imagine how I think God should answer my prayers. In fact I find that I often try to plan out all of God’s actions for him. After all I think I’m a fairly intelligent guy and I can’t imagine why or how God could come up with a better solution to the problem then I’ve envisioned. Then God answer my prayer and it rarely happens how I planned it all out!
I’m once again reminded of God’s greatness and his complete otherness to me, and the rest of humanity. I need his gentle (and sometimes not so gentle) reminder of the lack of a vacancy in the Trinity. That his plan is better by far then ours could ever be.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)
8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
So Lord please keep answering my prayers out of left field