Sometimes there is just way too much noise to even hear our own thoughts. Distractions can come from anywhere and they can also come from within. Our minds can and should slow down to listen to life, listen to ourselves and listen to God. I was practicing listening to this still small voice a few summers ago. Have you ever heard that “still small voice” inside of you? You know that still small quiet voice that beckons you at odd times that sometimes doesn’t make sense…?Today I was reminded of a fun experience God gave me one morning…
I am an avid runner and I train for races all the time. I specifically have enjoyed running marathons these past few years. My general running schedule was around 5am on most mornings. I would get up before my alarm because I yearned to run (some of you non-runners wouldn’t appreciate the runners high – but it does happen). I loved being out as the birds were waking and the sun was breaking all signs of night. It was peaceful and there wasn’t too many gas fumes penetrating my lungs from passing cars yet. I would typically see the same people walking and jogging most mornings. There was this one lady in particular I would see frequently. She was a walker and was usually on the way back as I was on my way down the long sidewalk strip in front of the local businesses.
This one morning was different than all the rest. I remember getting ready to get up out of bed when all of the sudden I had this overwhelming urge to jump out of bed and talk to this lady (whom I’ve barely said hi to before). I just knew it (it was that still small voice in side of me). I knew I was supposed to talk to her and I had to get up out of bed – NOW! It was a urgency in the request, and urgent leading of my spirit – unexplainable.
I soon was running almost violently looking for this lady. Of course as I was running I was asking God what in the world am I supposed to say to this lady? But then I knew…I was supposed to ask her if she had Jesus as her personal Savior. I was like “what? I am supposed to say that out of the blue?!” I do like to witness, but this was a weird one for me. I seemed okay with it and went on looking for this lady. I realized she must not be out here and that I missed it. Maybe I am supposed to talk to someone else? But I was pretty sure this lady was the one, she kept coming to my mind over and over. All of the sudden, there she was on the sidewalk heading right for me as if she almost poofed out of thin air right in front of me. Of course I was running, and she walking, but my heart began to beat faster. It was a different beat, it was that nervous beat that you get when you know you are about to do something that would embarass you.
As I got closer to her and the few steps between became feet I just kept running! I didn’t stop! I couldn’t believe it. It was like this muzzle was over my mouth and my feet were on auto pilot. I couldn’t help it and I just kept running. I immediately knew that I missed it. I knew it deep in my soul like I let someone down who was counting on me. This overwhelming sadness hit my heart and I soon regain myself and turned around to go after her. The weird thing was, she started running! This lady wasn’t a runner, what is she doing? I had to pick up the pace fast and it was almost as I was sprinting after her. It started getting to the point where I didn’t know if I was going to catch her or not.
All of the sudden she stopped and turned around and asked “Are you chasing me?” I told her, “Yes, I actually I am. I feel like I am supposed to tell you God loves you and wanted to know if you attend a church?” She replied that she did. I then told her she was invited to my church if she ever wanted to check it out. I didn’t have much else to say, so then I said, “Just felt like I was supposed to ask you that, God bless you.” and I went on running.
I couldn’t believe I said that but then I realized I didn’t do what God asked me to do. I was excited I listened as stopped the walker (AKA runner!) but I also followed only part of the instructions. I didn’t ask her if she had a relationship with Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. I knew it too. I knew I didn’t follow all the directions. As I ran home I repented and asked God to give me more faith and that I would be more obedient. I know it sounds weird, but I really had this remorse for not doing exactly what I was directed to do. It was this feeling that only God can give, but I don’t ever feel that way when I disappoint my husband or children. This was a different feeling all together that I couldn’t shake.
God is a God of seconds chances though. I was involved in a Bible study that same summer called Experiencing God, and we were to give accounts for ways God used us that week. I told the group about my experience. Flash forward about 2 weeks and I run in to my Pastor’s Wife and she tells me the lady I ran after wrote about the experience in the news paper! She is a writer for the North Scott Press. My other friend in my Bible study group also brought in the paper and showed me the article. It was really cool how God honored my confession of not doing exactly what he called me to do, yet provided a follow up to it.
It read that there was this young lady, I am glad I am still considered young, who stopped her on the streets to talk to her about God. It challenged her so much she went home and read her Bible. She described life in this article as a sandwich. There are all these different things you can put in it, lettuce – kids, pickles – sports, meat – job, etc that are all sandwiched together, but most don’t find room to squeeze God in their super-sized burger. She went on to say she was encouraged by this young lady and she was going to make room for God in her life. WOW!
We might not always find out about certain situations God leads us through, but we can trust that it did make an impact because God called us to do it – and that is all that we need to know.