This morning I was driving with Cooper to go meet a friend. I was on a two-lane road, in between towns, and there wasn't much to see for miles. Until I saw a man. I saw him from behind, he was walking on the side of the road in a grey sweat-suit and carrying a book-bag on his back. I would've guessed he was in his early twenties. My mind immediately started racing with questions... "Where is he going?""Why is he walking on a road with no sidewalks?" "It's like 25 degrees out, why isn't he wearing anything more than a sweatshirt?" "Should I stop and offer him a ride?".
I was so confused and partially concerned as to why this young man was walking on this long road with no civilization in sight, and in 25 degree weather for that matter. The only thing I could think of was that maybe he was walking to the YMCA but that was still a good five or six miles down the road. I did not immediately stop but as I kept driving I couldn't stop thinking about him. I felt something in my heart whispering "Go pick him up". I argued back. I had my two year old in the car with me. I'm a woman, and a small one at that. I'm on my way to meet a friend and if I turn around I'm going to be late, and I hate being late. This "conversation" went on for a few minutes.
I'm not sure if it was God's whisper or just something in my own head but the prompting wasn't going away and I felt like if it was after all, the voice of the Holy Spirit, then I'd better listen. So now that I was closer to my destination than I was further away, I turned around and drove back towards where I saw the young man walking to see if I could give him a ride.
(For all of you who just went into freak out mode...just keep reading. And listen, when you've lived in the hood of New York City, you're just not scared of people. Not trying to brag, it's just reality. And yes, I would do anything to protect my son. And no, most people are not killers. That's all.)
As soon as I turned around the anxiety over the decision was gone. I just needed to do it. I needed to obey. I drove for a few miles and I didn't see the man. In fact, I never saw the man again. Ugh. Now I was a little frustrated. I just wasted 10 minutes of time and gas for what? I hope the man ended up someplace warm.
As I turned around AGAIN to head back towards where I was meeting my friend I felt God say, "Courtney, sometimes I just need to see if you'll listen." Ouch.
I may have had a mini Abraham and Isaac experience today. And by mini I really do mean TINY. I'm not sure it was ever about giving the man a ride... I think God just wanted to see if I would listen and obey.
May we be great listeners to the one who loves us the most.
How well do you listen?