Ignoring the Spirit

How many of us have felt an urging to do something that you normally would not do?  I’m sure we all have at some point during our lives.  How many times have you acted upon that urge?  If I were to guess, I would wager that most of the time we convince ourselves of why we should not participate.  This morning, I was in that group.

Sitting at the top off the exit ramp from the interstate, on my way to work this morning, was a homeless man with a cardboard sign that read, “Just hungry. Thanks”.  Many times I see a homeless person on this ramp and avoid eye contact.  But this morning after reading his sign I immediately looked at my lunch bag and the banana resting atop it and then looked back at the man.  I felt the Spirit prodding me to roll down my window and wave the man over to my car to give him not only the banana but a granola bar too.  Heck, I could have given him my entire lunch and later driven to one of the many nearby fast food establishments to buy food.  It wouldn’t have busted my bank account.  Yet, as I sat at that light, three cars back, I debated with myself what to do and pondered over:

  • If I was first or even second in line, it would be easy as the man would not have to walk so far – I could be subtle.
  • What if I wave him over to my car and he doesn’t want my food, how foolish will I feel being rejected?
  • What if I wave the banana out my window and he ignores me, how foolish will I feel being rejected?
  • I’m a woman, what if the guy reaches in my window and tries to attack me?

But now we’ll never know what would have happen because I sat on that urging from the Spirit.  I’m sorry I was not bold enough this morning, Lord.  As the light changed and I drove off, passing the hungry man, I felt a wave of guilt wash over me as if I had just disappointed a parent, which in actuality, I did.  The fact that it was God making the request, I’m sure the man would have had no problem taking the food from me and probably would have been extremely grateful.  But even that thought was smashed down by my own fears of rejection and appearing silly.  And really, who would have known?  I was surrounded my random individuals I don’t know, in their own cars going about their own morning routine.  People I would most likely never see again.  And if I had offered the food and the man accepted, those strangers, perhaps, may have reached into their own satchels and given the man an item from their lunch.

I told my friend Tim about this story and he mentioned to me the verse for today on his calendar:

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
– I Corinthians 15:58

Well, I failed there this morning.  There’s a great worship song called, Take My Life.  Since I got to work and have replayed this non-event over in my mind, part of the chorus has been stuck in my head,

“Here am I, All of me.
Take my life, It’s all for thee.”

I failed there too.  But of course, God doesn’t expect me to get it right 100% of the time.  In striving to be like Christ there is a learning curve.  I am no where near perfect and never will be.  He knows that and uses opportunities like this morning to help mold me into the person he wants me to be.  The hope is that the next occurrence I feel the Spirit urging me forward I will follow His guidance without fear or doubt.

In the bible study I attend our group is going through the book Just Walk Across the Room.  The book is about taking those steps when the Spirit urges, steps that may change the life of another individual.  It is a great book for me to read, as the above scenario proves I struggle with even such a simple outreach as giving away a banana.  So Lord, please forgive me for ignoring you this morning and help me, in the future, to better recognize and seize the opportunities you lay before me.

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