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In Part 2, I learned to allow myself to relax, to get quiet and let go of stress. I was learning to sail. I invited God to reveal Himself to me and open my heart to His presence. I was becoming more focused and aware of Him.  

God continues to surprise

God is always filled with surprises. For those of you who are skeptical, remember, we did not beforehand know which exit to take. Without either a global positioning system (GPS) or roadmap, we had to tune into God’s Positioning Spirit to get where we were going.

While I was the one who wanted to get to Sedona to see the various vacation spots, and Peggy more along for the “ride”, God had treats in store for her. After sundown, on our return trip back to our accommodations in Scottsdale, we pulled off for gas at exit 289. Remember? This was the other exit that God dropped in my ear.

Exit 289 conveniently had a Sonic Drive-Thru, Peggy’s favorite place for a peach iced tea with lime wedges. There happened to be a casino at this exit as well. Continuing our adventure of flowing in God, Peggy asked, “Wanna have a little fun with a couple of bucks?”  We are not gamblers; in fact, I can’t remember the last time I’d been to a casino. And this was totally out of character for my chaplain wife.

Peggy, a bit unsettled and nervous about entering the gambling hall and feeling a little like Dorothy entering the chamber of the Wizard of Oz, dug her hand into my arm. “Slots, poker, and gambling, Oh My!”  “Slots, poker and gambling, Oh My!” 

The room was dimly lit and smelled of cigarette smoke. There was a sound of jangly music and the whir of spinning reels accompanied by loud beeps, bells and chimes from the gaming machines as people played their nickels and quarters. It was a cacophony of noises and smells that invaded and offended our senses. As we observed those playing the machines, with cigarettes between their fingers and lips, they seemed to stare mindlessly, without emotion, mesmerized by the brightly lit and colorful gaming monitors. In contrast, we were a breath of fresh air – figuratively, literally and spiritually.

On occasion, there was a happy and celebratory combination of flashing lights and sounds when a machine announced a winning combination. But more often than not, slot machines just took people’s money. Looking at the player’s facial expressions, depression seemed most pervasive amongst those hypnotized by the sounds, entrenched in their addiction to gambling.

Peggy and I were carefree about losing $5 and had resolved to walk away, win or lose. Nevertheless, we mutually agreed that if we happened to win, any proceeds would be donated to our church as an offering.When Peggy asked me which slot machine we should play, I didn’t immediately connect with the flow or receive guidance from God. Due to my hesitation, she proceeded to select one at random and played four quarters, only to lose them all.

This time we re-grouped, huddled, prayed and asked God to pick a machine. The slot machines were all numbered. What number machine do you hear?” Peggy asked.  “I don’t know,” and then blurted out “395!”  We located machine 395 and decided to “give it another try with four quarters.”

I stood there for the initial spin, not yet feeling any enjoyment. The machine remained silent and still, devoid of flashing lights or music, as none of the three reels aligned. Winning required all three reels to match. “Oh, well.”  This time I eased myself into the chair facing the slot machine. “A quarter down and three to go,” I said to Peggy, who was peering over my shoulder.  I spun for a second time, and gloriously three reels matched. It was a double payout win!  I perked up, having a little fun now. On the third spin, again, “clang, clang, clang, clang!” the machine happily announced. We just won another double payout!  The happy clanging noise and flashing lights again lifted my spirits. Peggy was doing the “Happy Dance.”  We now had one more spin remaining. On our last spin, the machine went quiet again, but I was on a winning streak. All in all, the machine returned $5.00 for our one dollar. “That was fun!” I boyishly exclaimed. Peggy got the distinct impression from my jubilation that I was connecting with God. This was now just me and Papa time. Clearly, God the Father was wanting to show me personally a fun time, something which had been cut short in my life having lost my dad at age 11. He was restoring to me, even in this unlikely place, that which was lost, a part of my broken heart.

The joy and smile on my face spoke volumes. I was fully attentive and prepared this time when she inquired, “Which machine is God guiding you towards now?”

My initial instinct was 350. Among the six slot machines numbered 350-1, -2, -3, -4, etc., I faintly heard a whisper saying “350-3.” Although uncertain, I decided to trust it. Peggy also resonated with the number 3.  So, we agreed to play another dollar. To our astonishment, slot machine 350-3 rewarded us with a DOUBLE payout for our four spins. In total, between the two machines, we earned $9.75. I know you’re probably thinking whoop-de-doo, woo-hoo; but it really was a big deal. Typically, odds are stacked against gamblers in favor of the house winning, but in God’s house, the odds were stacked doubly in our Favor!

I completely understand, and it’s important to clarify that this experience isn’t about promoting gambling. Instead, it served as an exercise in spontaneity, stretching, listening, trusting, pressing in, and practicing hearing Papa God, not just on big things but also the small, even unorthodox things.  Through this experience, we were being taught to listen attentively, trust wholeheartedly, follow obediently, and most importantly, to have fun in the process.

Our adventures were more than we hoped or imagined, more than a thrill-seeking ride at an amusement park, and to think we can live this adventure daily!  He cares for us. So, drop everything and listen to his voice! (Psalm 95:7, TPT).

Are you ready to let go and let God lead the way?

PREVIOUS LINKS:
Adventures in Flowing in God, Part 1
Adventures in Flowing in God, Part 2

Copyright 2020
by Bill Hutzel & Peggy Castorri-Hutzel

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6 Comments

  1. Thank you both for putting the message of GOD out there. As people we are so self- willed and as a result, there is constant turmoil. If we learn to put God first, our lives would be just plain better! It’s so simple yet so difficult for a person to believe they are not the architects of their lives . The war ensues within. The larger picture is forgotten for the smaller win – as if life is about winning and losing. Just be. Accept and know God shows himself to us in the good times as well as the bad. Grab a hold and don’t let go! Every day is a mystery of love. Bless you both.

  2. I love the way you 2 listed as a team ,there was unity ,you were in agreement with each other .

  3. Hi Bill and Peggy! I read all three parts and feel so uplifted, and blessed by your adventures with God as your pilot!

  4. Just wonderful to have the both of you on this wonderful God adventure. Bless you both as you continue to hear from God.
    Barbara Stewart

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