With schools starting back and temperatures slowly shifting away from the triple digits, it means (for a lot of churches) the start of another year of small group get-togethers. My group met this past Sunday and we immediately jumped into Frances Chan’s “Forgotten God“. In case you are unfamiliar with him, Chan is the author of “Crazy Love” and founder of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, CA.

One thing that stuck with me was when he talked about reaching a point in his life where he felt like he needed a sign from God. His plan was to get up one morning, drive down to the beach (where he said he finds peace and a disconnect from the world) and he did just that. He first stopped by a coffee shop across the street to get a cup of coffee and a muffin, then laid out his blanket in the sand, sat down with coffee and muffin in hand, and opened his Bible. He started to read a few verses, then looked up at the water… God’s creation… with the world at his back and the ocean stretching as far as he could see. He shut his eyes.

What he said he then heard from God was not at all what he had expected. The first thing that he said he “heard” (which was more of a feeling and less of an audible message) was “You’re cute”.

Chan was sitting on a beach with his blanket, hot coffee, and a muffin. He was doing something that most people in the world will never be able to do. Millions that day would just be struggling to stay alive or find clean water, and he was looking for a way to shut out the world instead of involving himself in it.

It seems so obvious and simple, but instances like this one are often overlooked when we are trying to listen to God. We think too hard about what it means to be “better Christians”, so we end up just deciding that for ourselves. To spend a morning on the beach reading your Bible is not a bad thing, but I think Chan was trying to say that it’s also not all that God asks of us.

Have you ever had an “ah-ha” moment where you realized God was telling you something that was completely unexpected? We’d love to hear your thoughts.