It’s summer, the glorious Minnesota summer of silver lakes with brightly colored sailboats leaning into the wind, and cheery cardinals in my back yard, and fifty shades of green, growing as enthusiastically as possible before the all-too short season ends.
The other day I’m running. And sweating. A lot. And thinking I am going to die (as usual). But I’m also on pace to go farther than I ever have.
I am scuffling around the east side of Lake of the Isles when I see a middle-aged woman sitting on a park bench. She’s rubbing her eyes, looking like she might be crying.
God whisper: Maybe you should stop and ask if she’s ok.
Rationalizing self: She was probably just wiping sweat from her eyes. It’s hot!
God whisper: What do you have to lose?
Dark-hearted self: Well, Lorrrrd…I’m on pace to do my best. If I stop now I’ll never finish. I’ll have to start all over tomorrow and that would be sooooo…inconvenient!
God whisper: Why are you doing this running thing anyway?
Sheepish self: Well, You know…I’m trying to identify with those who have to do hard, uncomfortable, inconvenient things every day and raise money to get them clean water. People who don’t have a choice.
God whisper: Hmm…Choices…Running is hard. And stopping?
Grudging self: I could circle back to her I guess. No! It was sweat, not tears. And it’s none of my business anyway.
The Holy Spirit may mumble something about hearing and doing, but I can’t be sure. I turn up my iTunes and keep jogging.
The promptings of the Holy Spirit are usually assurance, admonition, or calls to action.
Maybe not in the middle of a run, but often there’s time to ask important questions to discern if it’s really God’s voice or psychosis. Questions like
- Is this in line with God’s character? (basically, is it loving?)
- Is this in line with God’s Word?
- Is it confirmed by other wise believers?
I didn’t have time to confirm this whisper with other believers, but stopping certainly was in line with God’s character and His Word.
This morning I read Hebrews 3:7-8 “So, as the Holy Spirit says: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.'”
I’m not beating myself up. I just want to pay attention and make a different choice next time. Lord, give me a soft, responsive heart to your whispers.
Ever have a similar conversation with God? How did you respond?