Time to Move On

The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.” And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.” This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again. – Acts 10:9-16.

Johnny Lechner is 29-years-old and he has been an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater for 12 years. He had planned to graduate this May but realized that he had never studied abroad. So he withdrew his graduation application. Lechner said about this, “I realized that if I went one more year, I could study abroad. That’s one thing I haven’t done.” He has completed 234 credit hours of studies and now qualifies for Wisconsin’s “slacker tax” which doubles the tuition rate for students taking longer than usual to graduate. Lechner did not plan on being a career student. No, that only occurred after he realized how much fun it was in college. It has resulted in a minor celebrity status for him and appearances on some network TV shows along with articles in newspapers. An editor of the University’s student newspaper (The Royal Purple), Michelle Eigenberger, indicated that most students were tired of Lechner’s continued presence on campus and said, “It’s getting old. For the sanity of the rest of the campus, we want him to get out of here.”

How do you know when it is time for a change in the way you have been doing things or in your life situation? I think we can agree that Johnny Lechner has had some hints. One, he has stayed eight years longer than most undergraduates have and must be looking a little older than everyone else. Two, he is now subject to the “slacker tax” with double tuition. Three, an editor of the school newspaper says, “…we want him to get out of here.” Four, like Lechner, you receive only angry glares from the rest of the student body.

The apostle Peter was somewhat stuck in his ways. He was a Jewish man determined to lead a Jewish life following strict Jewish teachings. However, things had changed and Peter was still stuck back in the old days. God began to give him some hints. Peter fell into a trance and all these non-Jewish things were being placed before him to eat. He kept refusing in this vision/dream. Peter was determined to continue with the way things had always been. Immediately after receiving this same vision three times a delegation from the Gentile centurion, Cornelius, arrives requesting that Peter come to Cornelius’ home. Why? Because Cornelius had had a vision of an angel telling him to contact Peter. After arriving at Cornelius’ home, Peter was convinced to begin preaching Christ, however, before he could finish all the Gentiles gathered there were saved. Peter was now convinced it was time for a change and that salvation was for all people.

Sometimes it is very obvious that we need to change or move on to something else. If a burning bush begins to speak to you, a donkey starts talking, a blinding light from Heaven strikes you blind, or an angel shows up telling you what God wants you to do – that is pretty obvious and direct. It could be even more direct and obvious as in being thrown overboard and swallowed by a big fish. Very direct. Very obvious.

Perhaps you have been receiving some hints about the way you have been doing things or a need for a radical change in your life. What are you waiting for? Something more direct and obvious?

(How do you know when it is time for a change in the way you have been doing things or in your life situation?)

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