Bicycle Rules and Listening to God

Ever have God just show up and startle the bejesus out of you? (and where did that word, bejesus come from?)

First a little background…

Did you know that Minneapolis is the number one biking city in the country?  Yeah!  Even more than any of the twig-and-bark-eater cities out west!  We have more bike paths than any of them.

And there are a heck-of-a-lot-of bikers out there.  I know because most of them pass me on their slick road bikes.

When you pass someone the unspoken rule is that you say “On your left.” so they’re not startled and don’t swerve and end up causing a 10-bike pile-up with blood and need for super-hero bandaids.

The problem comes when people (and by people, I mean me) have earbuds in and are listening to other stuff.  I get startled a lot.  And the other day I got startled when I was listening to a message about hearing God’s voice.

It got me to thinking about the reasons we don’t hear God’s voice in the regular course of our day and the two reasons that kicked me in the pants were:

1.  We’ve filled our lives with so much other noise it’s hard to hear Him.  Sometimes it’s literal noise (like we just don’t have any silence or solitude), and sometimes it’s the noise of worry or fear.

2.  We’re so busy learning stuff about God that we neglect to listen to Him…You know, actually have a relationship with Him where there’s conversation.

Blah, blah, blah… That’s nice and neat and sermon-y to think about, but then God cycled up behind me when I wasn’t listening and really shook me up with a megaphone.

I was getting my hair cut.  (What could be more boring and un-spiritual, right?)  And the woman who cuts my hair has become a friend over the past ten years, but a “friend” I only see every 5 weeks for an hour.  She’s not a Jesus-follower.  Yet.  But she’s a wonderful person.

We were chatting and things got more personal, and I asked a question, and bam!  Tears.

Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh!  Ding, ding, ding!  All of a sudden I’m on the alert thinking “What’s going on here?”  And I’m also hoping she’s not going to cut my ear off.

Now if there are three gifts I DON’T have they are prophecy, evangelism and counseling.

But it was like God had cruised up behind me on His road bike and was SHOUTING in my ear “PAY ATTENTION!  This is important!”

And then, “This is what’s going on.  Say this.”

What God impressed on me to say sounded prophetic and not like “me”, but I said it because I was startled by Him and trying to pay attention and obey, and bam!  It was like a light bulb went on in my beautician friend’s head and more tears came.

Tears of understanding .  Tears of wondering if God could truly love even her in spite of what she’s been told all her life.

This story isn’t over yet, but I’m grateful that God yelled in my ear and allowed me to be an “interpreter” in a conversation He’s having with my friend.

I share all this just to say, like they do on the cop shows when they send the rookies out on duty, “Be careful out there!”

Be alert.  You never know when God is going to show up with a megaphone and use you in a kingdom caper.

I’d love to hear from you!  What promptings from God have you responded to?  How do you experience listening to Him?

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