Bowling Interview (Ezekiel 4:4-6)

Our dermatology residency program interviews prospective applicants in January of each year. The interview process takes place over two days. On the Sunday evening before the formal interview, only our current dermatology residents meet with all of the prospective applicants; no professors or attending physicians are invited. They meet for a few games of bowling followed by dinner. It is an informal social setting for a formal look at the candidates. We have often learned things about the applicants that would never have been revealed in their resumes or recommendation letters. The next day, after the formal interviews, I usually debrief the residents on their bowling interview experiences. On this particular interview session, the dermatology residents were particularly interested in my impression of one applicant.


“Dr. S. What did you think of Sally?”


“I liked her! Really interesting, bubbly, poised…impressive research and letters of recommendation. How was she on bowling night?” Several of residents smirked and one spoke up. “Uh…don’t ask Jake what he thought of her.”


“Why?” They definitely had my attention.


“Well…” one sheepishly began. “You can ask him but I’ll tell you what he told me. Sally rode with him in his car after the bowling because they carpooled together to the restaurant.”




“Yes, well…as soon as she sat in the car, she began fiddling with the settings on his radio and his air conditioner.”


“Whoa!” Jake was relatively even tempered but I knew he had his limits. “What did he do?”


“He told me that he asked her, ‘What are you doing?’ It was almost like she ignored him and she continued to fiddle with the controls. So he finally told her, ‘Please stop that!’ He was pretty annoyed!”


In the unwritten rules governing the relations between men and women, one sacred text is, “Don’t mess with a man’s controls!” It does not matter whether it is the remote control to the television, a video game console, an audio sound system, and especially the preset settings for the radio and air conditioner in a man’s car.


It may not seem fair to judge an applicant on this one odd behavior but this was a red flag and there were other quirks that also arose during the remainder of the evening and even during the formal interview on Monday that eventually prompted the committee to reject this applicant.


Odd behavior. Sometimes it is a clue to deeper disturbing issues going on within a person. At other times, it may actually be God working in someone’s lives.


Now lie on your left side and place the sins of Israel on yourself. You are to bear their sins for the number of days you lie there on your side. I am requiring you to bear Israel’s sins for 390 days—one day for each year of their sin. After that, turn over and lie on your right side for 40 days—one day for each year of Judah’s sin.

Ezekiel 4:4-6 (NLT)


If ever there was an example of odd behavior, it was the Prophet Ezekiel obeying God’s command to lie on both sides of his body for a total of 430 days, symbolizing the sins of the Jewish people. What a remarkable statement that would have made! Ezekiel was a prophet and he obeyed God’s commands. His entire life was devoted to communicating God’s Word to the Jewish people and at times, God’s commands required an unorthodox and odd message. Does this mean that all odd behavior should be considered or interpreted as a sign from God? Not necessarily.


While this applicant’s behavior was odd, it was most certainly not an indication of divine inspiration from God. Ezekiel, the Prophet, was held to the highest standards that God established for all of His prophets. His prophecies were confirmed by events in the world and eventually by Jesus Christ. It also looked forward to the Millenium and the return of Jesus Christ, in harmony with the other prophecies of the Bible.


As with everything in life, all actions and behavior must be held up to the light of the perfect Word of God, the Bible, and Jesus Christ.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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