Gentle Nudging

My husband, Jim, stood in the middle of the block. He was about ready to cross the street. Jim had done it several times before as he exited the building he was working in. Crossing in the middle of the street was the most convenient way back to his car. But this time, he stopped for a moment, and it seemed to him he shouldn’t jaywalk. It was against the law, after all. Maybe he should go to the corner and cross the street this time. So, he did, and just then, a police car appeared. I don’t know if this saved him from getting a jaywalking ticket. I don’t know how strict the police are about these things. I know that I jaywalk. It’s just easier at times…but is it right? It seemed this time God gently nudged Jim to cross legally.

How many things do we do in this life that are just more convenient, but aren’t right? Not big things—I’m talking about the little, everyday kind of things. Does the grocery cart always need to be taken back to the stall for used carts when we are done? Sometimes it is just so out of the way. And how many times do we let a word slip out of our mouth that would best be left unsaid? Or even the opposite…perhaps we notice that a certain color looks great on a person. Do we listen to the gentle nudging that they could use a compliment to brighten their day before we hurry on with the rest of ours? Today I felt that nudge from the Holy Spirit, so I mentioned to a lady picking up the same roast that I was that we had eaten one last night and it was so good. She thanked me a few times…I don’t know what that meant to her, but she seemed pleased to know how good it would be. Was she nervous about dinner guests?

These are little things. These are not life changing events…or are they? What does God have to say to us about being faithful with the little things? There are rewards at the end. (Matt 25:23) We are to do the next thing, and the next, as God calls us to follow after Him.

Searching And Noticing the Divine is about little things God does for us along the way of life. Sometimes I have shared monumental noticings, but mostly, I share about things like my husband, who was nudged by the Holy Spirit inside of him to go to the corner and cross. Jim listened and obeyed. This is what we are called to every day of our lives. Is it about following rules? Not so much. It is about God wanting to protect us, to bless us, and to teach us His way, and His way is through His Son, Jesus Christ. For the thief on the cross next to Jesus, it was one small turning of his head to Jesus and asking Jesus to remember him when He came into His Kingdom. His request was listened to and answered that very day. For most of us, it is many steps through a lifetime that lead us Home. Let’s not try to jaywalk our way into Heaven! Let’s go out of our way to be all that God is calling us to be,following where He leads us. It’s for our own good, and foreveryone else around us, too.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door,
but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters
by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep
hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

John 10:1–3 (NIV)