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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Promptings

I had a unique experience on our State Cross Country trip this past weekend. While exiting the hotel on Friday evening, one of my guys walked straight into a plate-glass window. It was absolutely hilarious and he become the subject of much ribbing over the next 24 hours. As we continued out to our van after this experience, one of the front-desk personnel followed after us. Evidently, she had witnessed the event and felt that perhaps my guy had been goofing around and intentionally trying to cause damage to the hotel. She gave him a brief lecture and headed back into the hotel before I could intervene on behalf of my runner and figure out what was happening.

For the rest of the evening, I wondered if I should go to the hotel desk and speak with this woman. I thought it might be important to let her know I had also witnessed the event and that no harm was intended. On the other hand, I thought, why make a bigger deal about this than it needs to be.

Well, later that evening I found myself walking right by the front desk. Who should happen to be the only person there except this aforementioned lecture-giver! And at that moment I clearly felt the Holy Spirit prompt me- go talk to her.

Now, I don't always listen as I should to these kind of promptings, but on this particular occasion, I did. I walked over to the desk, introduced myself as the head coach of the knucklehead who walked into the window, and proceeded to offer a very sincere and heart-felt apology to her and the hotel. Guessing that this was a God-inspired moment, I waited for her reaction, hoping there might be some kind of opening to spiritual matters.

What I got instead was another lecture. Within seconds, she had my name, my phone number, and my school info so that the general manager could "evaluate the situation." Rather taken back by this, I apologized again and headed back to my room, wondering to myself, "What just happened? Why, God, did you prompt me to talk to her? That did not go well!" I spent the next several hours stewing in my room, worried that a mysterious charge for "window repair" would show up on my bill the next morning.

This episode has served as a reminder to me of WHY we listen to these promptings. In my nature, I want to listen because I believe the results will be good- people will open up to God, respond to a kind act, and I will get to be a part of it. The truth for us is that when God prompts us, He is asking us to trust Him. To trust that He sees what we cannot, that He knows the hearts and minds of all people, and that His plans are perfect. We listen and we act not because we believe we will see the results. We listen and act because we trust that God will, and that He is at work in every situation and in every life. Even in grumpy front-desk clerks.

So, I will likely never see this person again, but I trust that God is doing something in her life, and perhaps, in some minor way, my sincere apology will move her one step closer in that journey.

When the Spirit prompts you today, may you listen and like Philip in Acts 8, run to obey. And when you do, may you be able to trust with all your heart that God knows what He's doing.

Listen for the promptings on your journey today,

Nick

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...but we want to see RESULTS for our efforts. I speculate that some don't follow their promptings in such situations because they aren't so sure that they will see any benefit or result in doing so. Doing what you are asked or prompted to do and then leaving the results all up to God isn't always easy -- WE want to make things happen :) I will do my best in the upcoming week to obey what I hear the Holy Spirit telling me to do and not look for results or answers. As always, thanks for the reminder :)
--Britt