When I was 16 I went backpacking with Young Life just outside of Jackson Hole Wyoming. It was on that trip that I became obsessed with all things fleece. I even proclaimed to my friends that I was determined to secure myself a head to toe fleece outfit, right down to the bra and underwear, which I’m pretty sure they don’t even make. In hindsight, a day in fleece underwear would be terribly awful for reasons I don’t need to point out. In my twenties the fleece obsession continued and I went with the north face wearing, carabiner key-clipping, volkswagen driving backpacker chic look.
I’m still a bit of a fleece snob and when you approach me on the chillier winter months, I’m prone to evaluate your fleece choice. North face, Patagonia or an Old Navy knockoff? I have to know. I’ll love you either way, but I’m a fleece judger. And don’t even get me started on babies who wear North Face, that’s an $80 jacket that they’ll wear for about 8 days, that’s $10 a wear, enjoy it while it lasts.
There was a guy in the bible who was totally obsessed with fleece as well and his name was Gideon. And gideon’s fleece was old school, it was made of goat wool, not some namby-pamby mint green polyethylene terephthalate. This guy didn’t use his fleece to show off the size of his paycheck, but rather to put the Lord his God to the test, which was a bold move on his part.
God had big plans for Gideon, like taking down an entire nation with ludicrous odds. So Gideon developed a habit of putting his fleece out every night and playing God with various requests as to the degree of moisture it should contain come morning. God indulged him and eventually Gideon went on to kick some tail feather and serve up some bad guy heads on a silver platter.
We all know that we’re not supposed to put the Lord to the test, that’s like Christianity 101, yet how many of us are obsessed with putting out our fleeces? Is God calling you to something scary? Yes? Okay, time to break out the fleece. If this is you God, then my fleece will be wet, dry, blue, tie-dyed, you get the picture. Or maybe the salary will be 65,00 with benefits, the missional friendship will come easy, the blog hits will be massive in first month or the adoption fundraising will be a breeze. This is real life, we want to do the big things for God but so often we need 47 rounds of proof before we take that first step in faith.
Gideon was the little guy, and God did fantastical things through him, God loves doing stuff like that. You’re probably the little guy too, and maybe God has indulged you with a few rounds of fleece testing but now it’s time to pick up your big boy/girl sword and serve up some very metaphorical heads on a platter, for his glory. Amen and Selah.