A few months ago, my husband, two children and I went away for the weekend with another couple and their two kids, who are about the same age as ours.

We had known each other for about a year, but saw this as an opportunity to get to become better acquainted and to let our children, who attend the same schools, bond.

As we chatted one afternoon, the wife asked a series of questions from a board game she and her husband have played for years. There were no trick questions or right or wrong answers, but the way you answered allowed others to know more about you.

One question in particular struck me as profound:  If God told you to leave everything and everyone you love behind and move to the Red Sea, would you go?

The wife said she had asked the man she was dating years ago this question and when he answered yes, she knew he was the one for her.  They've been married for a decade.

When she posed the question to me, no one was surprised when I answered yes.  She acknowledged, however, that she wasn't sure what she would do - it would be a difficult choice.

Her honesty was compelling.  It is easy to say yes, we would give up something we haven't yet been asked to sacrifice or that yes, we would always be true and faithful to God when that faith hasn't been tested in a severe way.

Think about Peter, who never fathomed he would be ashamed of Jesus, and yet he denied knowing him three times.  Think about the rich man who wanted to go Heaven, but not if it was going to cost him all that he had toiled for and accomplished here on earth.

I began asking myself if I were any different.  Are any of us any different?

As this friend and I chatted later that day, when we were alone, our conversation veered to my career as a writer and how I often have to sacrifice time with friends and family to write and to travel to promote my work. I told her how hard it is to leave my 4- and 7-year-olds, even for a couple of days, and how I try to take them along as much as possible.

As she listened, she nodded and returned to the Red Sea question. She told me she could see why my answer was yes.

"This is your Red Sea experience  - your writing ministry."

I hadn't considered that until she said it,  but suddenly I agreed.

Writing is my passion; it's a gift I've had since childhood. And yet, to write well and be sure that I'm serving as God's vessel, it does require sacrifice, obedience and time away to be quiet and still.  I board airplanes more frequently than I would otherwise and spend more time on weekends spreading the good news that I believe God has inspired me to write in my works of fiction.  If I don't write it and speak it, how will my gift be used to God's glory?

That conversation came to me this morning as I prepared to begin reading a book I recently picked up about the spiritual laws of success. Of course,  most of us want to be successful - the key is to do it in a way that pleases and honors God. As I read the bio of the woman who wrote the book, I realized that her work was a Red Sea experience, too. She had sacrificed something or experienced something that led her to share her knowledge on these pages.

The same is true for each of us who write, sing, intercede through prayer or dedicate some other gift or calling to God.

Our Red Seas may not require us to literally relocate to another part of the world. In our hearts, though, are we ready to go wherever God leading?

That's a question I try to ask myself often, and like my friend, I don't always readily say, "Yes!"  It's in those times that I know I need to draw closer to God in prayer, asking him to bolster my faith and trust.

The question is a good self-evaluation, to keep me focused on the big picture - His canvas, rather than my human-sized vision of goodness and Godliness.

What is your Red Sea? Are you ready to travel there, with God?

Article originally posted on Crosswalk April 24, 2006


Stacy Hawkins Adams is the author of the Christian fiction novels Nothing but the Right Thing and Speak To My Heart. She is also a freelance writer and inspirational columnist. Stacy often speaks to audiences about the blessings that come with authentically living one's faith. She and her husband, Donald, have two children.