It wasn’t exactly World War III, but in the spring of 1995 I found myself embroiled in a battle of the sexes that would have sent Napoleon Bonaparte running home for his mama.
I lived in a house in college with eight other guys, and we shared a driveway with a house occupied by nine young ladies. Whose bright idea was that? We would either all hook up or kill each other.
When it comes to global conflict, the word escalation is never a good thing. One country picks a fight with a sling-shot. The other fires back with a bow and arrow. Given enough time, tension and technology, the situation goes nuclear.
I know this because I’ve seen it unfold in the microcosm of my own back yard.
This whole thing began one Sunday evening when the ladies next door called a house meeting, which meant that all boys were banned from the premises. So really, they brought this on themselves. Bored males are dangerously creative.
I didn’t want to cause an international incident. The last I needed was to start a war with Ireland. How could I live with that on my conscience? But seriously, this guy’s accent was driving me crazy. I had to get to get to the bottom of it, even if it meant breaking protocol.
It all started innocently enough. A friend of mine was getting married in Ireland and trying to make the arrangements from back here in Kentucky. Apparently securing a clergyman across an ocean is harder than catching a leprechaun, but my friend had finally found a reputable guy and needed a reference from her home church.
That’s where I came in.
It was my first overseas conference call, so I was pretty pumped. Actually it was my first overseas call of any kind. I felt like I was about to broker a million dollar deal with some high rolling business cartel.
There’s nothing like an element of danger to do wonders for your prayer life. Put most of us in a risky situation, and suddenly we’re praying like Billy Graham. Take my friend Jenn for instance. She serves as a small group leader for elementary boys. Can you imagine any more dangerous profession?
A few months ago, she got a lesson that sent her straight to her knees. She opened her e-mail to see that the lesson required marbles. Marbles! She had led these boys long enough to know that they could weaponize anything. Like miniature McGyvers they could transform the most common objects into implements of disaster.
So, Jenn bowed her head and prayed a common mother’s prayer, “Lord, please keep them from throwing marbles at each other or getting them stuck in their noses.”
If ever someone needed an answer to prayer, this was the time. Sunday rolled around and she was still nervous.
When she sat down with her boys, though, she relaxed as she handed out the marbles and saw how excited they were to receive their toy.
She told them firmly, “Do not throw these marbles or stick them in your noses.” Seemed clear enough, right? Unfortunately, she did not mention other body parts. Then she made the mistake of glancing down in her supply basket to pull out her remaining supplies.