In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry gets his hands on a nifty little potion called Felix Felicis – nicknamed Liquid Luck. This handy solution makes the drinker excessively lucky for a period of time, during which everything he or she attempts will be successful.
The cool thing about the potion is that it doesn’t really affect the rest of the world – only how the person perceives and interacts with it.
Immediately after Harry guzzles the contents of the FF vial, his entire demeanour changes. Gone is the brooding, uncertain anxiety of adolescence – and even the gloomy paranoia that one gets when one’s arch-enemy is the most powerful evil wizard in the history of the world. Instead, he feels a content confidence that if he follows his instincts without question, he’ll accomplish his very important goal. He stands straighter and acts with boldness.
What’s most remarkable is that even though this is about his third run at the goal he’s pursuing, and even though the stakes are unbelievably high, he’s clearly enjoying himself.
All because of Felix. Ah, if only you could buy this stuff at Safeway. On the other hand, maybe you don’t need to.
I had a Felix Felicis-like moment myself last week – although the only thing I’d been drinking was coffee.
It was Thursday morning, and I was working feverishly to meet a looming magazine deadline. Things were going well, but I still had about two days’ work to do and a day and a half in which to do it.
It was almost lunchtime, so I looked in the fridge and nothing caught my eye. No leftovers were available, so I’d have to cook something from scratch and I didn’t have the time or interest.
The thought came from somewhere, but I can’t say where. Mr. Will Power and I are only casual acquaintances, so it’s not surprising that as soon as the idea hit me, I was putting on my shoes. But somehow, the decision was more than me giving into a craving; it somehow felt like the right thing to do – as if I’d had a sip of Felix Felicis and therefore knew inexplicably that this would lead to something a great deal better than a delightfully greasy lunch.
Burger King is only a five-minute drive from my house, but in those few moments, the Whopper of an epiphany I wrote about in Genesis (my first Disciplehood entry) happened to me.
You should start a blog about God. Today! But how can I do that? It’s impossible. There’s no way I have the time; I have too much work to do as it is. ‘Impossible’ is a Rob word, not a God word. If not now, when? When will you ever really have the time? You can do this. You just need to put aside your doubts, and unleash yourself.
By the time I’d paid for my order, I’d decided to listen to that still, small voice and take a leap of faith. I would write a blog, choose a host site and figure out how to post the entry in cyberspace – all before I did another scrap of work for The Man. And when I was finished, I would also meet my magazine deadline and do what needed to be done around the house.
I drove home, giggling with an entirely irrational certainty and sat down at the computer, absurdly confident that God was with me on this.
And if God is with me, who can be against me?
The words spilled out of my fingertips with more ease than I’m accustomed to. And while I was writing that first posting, I was also somehow organizing my thoughts on my magazine work so I could get it done more efficiently when I got back to it. Simultaneously, it seemed, I remembered that my friend Brad Huebert writes a Christian blog on a host site called WordPress (http://bradhuebert.wordpress.com/), so maybe I should use that host site for Disciplehood, too. By 2 p.m., I was a blogger with my very first posting.
Twenty-six hours later, I’d finished all of my magazine work (and done an exemplary job of it, if I say so myself) and written and posted a second, 900-word blog entry. I was also caught up on laundry, and had begun making supper preparations.
There’s no way it was possible for me to do all of that in the time that was available. The only explanation I can see is that God used my faith to break those all-too-few minutes and hours like so many fish and loaves, put them back together His way and made the impossible possible.
Did God call me to go to Burger King? It seems ridiculous, but I don’t know if I’d arrived at the idea of starting a blog if I hadn’t taken that short drive to the eatery. More important than the idea of doing this, though, was the realization that I could do it; that it wasn’t up to me to make it happen, only to let it happen.
Unlike Harry Potter, though, I don’t need some magic soft drink to strip away my naysaying, second guessing and self-doubt. I have the Holy Spirit with me 24 hours a day.
And so do you.
Not that He’s at our beck and call, to do our bidding. Quite the opposite. And I don’t mean to pretend it’ll always be easy to discern what He wants me to do. But I’m starting to truly grasp that a life lived to bring about His will is the only felicitous life there is.
Peace be with you.