THE NELSONS OF NOZZY
By Suzie Q.
"TURN YOUR VEHICLE INTO THE WATER. DO IT NOW. DO YOU DOUBT?" In Lamarr's head, shooing out all other thoughts. Like a, whatyacall, megaphone, but inside his head.
"DO IT NOW. DO YOU DOUBT?" Again.
He had just started driving across the Devil's Gullet Bridge. The narrow two-laner joined two big peaks that overlooked, way down dozens of feet below, the dribbling local branch of the Snake River. It took a few minutes to cross even on a clear day. Looking straight down from there made stronger men than Lamarr feel like piddling their pants wasn't completely out of the question, so best clamp down tight.
"DO IT NOW. DO YOU DOUBT?" Filling his head again.
Lamarr reached forward and ejected his Elder Hunter tape. Then, in the silence, now halfway across the bridge, he heard again: "DO IT NOW. INTO THE WATER. DO YOU DOUBT?" Okay, that was clearly not from the tape.
"Awwww, crap. Crap crap crap," he said aloud in deep distress and confusion. Time slowed down. He willed himself to maintain speed and a straight line, and considered the options.
1) Could be Lucifer. Totally could. Drive off the bridge to certain death--that was just the kind of thing Lucifer would tell him to do. It was a really good sign in a way. Because why would Satan bother with a small-town farmer, unless he was destined for great and godly things? Because he was on the road to performing many a marvelous work and a wonder in Jesus' name? Wipe Lamarr out now before he could really get rolling.
2) Could be God. Lamarr'd listened recently to a really inspiring talk by Jerrod E. Philpott, First Councilor of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, where the Elder stressed the value of unquestioning, immediate obedience. It included a story that'd made a big impression on Lamarr. Seems Elder Philpott knew this woman whose child's life was saved by total obedience. She was cooking an old-fashioned pot full of French fries, in oil, and they were bubbling away on the stove. Her little boy was playing around on the floor by her feet. The boy jumped up like kids do, and his head hit the pothandle straight on from below. The boiling oil started to spill. The momma shouted, "JUMP BACK!" If the boy'd said "No," or stopped and asked "Why?" then the burning oil would have hit him right in the face. But this was a very good, very obedient boy. He listened to the counsel of his elders. He jumped straight back without asking why, just because his momma said so. A few drops caught him on the shoulder as the oil flew by, but he was barely touched. Just enough to remind him the rest of his life, every time he looked at the little scars, to always obey.
What if this was Lamarr's boiling oil?
Then there was the story of Abraham too. "Kill your son!" commanded God. Maybe it's supposed to sound crazy, but you do it anyway, and that's the whole point. Would you go to extremes for our Father in Heaven? Would you do it right away? Of course, sheez.
Maybe it was a mercy, a warning from Heavenly Father, because maybe if he kept going he'd be driving into a bomb or who knows what and would die for sure. Maybe his pickup in the river was the best of a bunch of bad options.
3) Could just be Lamarr's head. Janeece was always saying that his was cracked. Some people heard voices sometimes, didn't they? In church folks talked a lot about the Still, Small Voice. Maybe his was a little louder because he was more in tune with the Spirit? He'd heard folks say they'd felt inspired to do some pretty crazy things. Usually it was just stuff like, "Open the Book of Mormon," and then it landed on exactly the scripture that answered their situation. This could be like one of those, only more serious because he was a serious man doing serious work for the Lord.
"DO IT NOW. DO YOU DOUBT?" Only a handful more seconds and he'd be all the way across.
Obey now, like the little boy at the stove--but which voice?
Obey your Father in Heaven, duh, but when you're shooting down the highway in your pickup at 45 mph and you're running out of room to decide and you've got to choose right now, just how in the heck do you know which voice is His?