Have you ever felt a sudden, inexplicable feeling or urge to do or not to do something? I admit, for most of my life if I did, I didn’t give it much thought. After all, I was the pilot of my life, and I knew where I was going and my plans on how to get there. When my wife and I decided to let God be the pilot of our lives, not only did we experience these feeling or directions more often, we began to build the courage to act upon them. It felt weird at first. As we stepped out in faith, we started to see things happen. Timidly, we began to speak about our experiences with a select few, usually only if someone else brought up the topic. Along the way, God would often encourage us by putting other people in our lives who had also experienced some kind of leading by the Holy Spirit.
One couple we knew told us a story of what happened to them. They had driven to Granbury for a day of shopping. The lady was driving, and as they pulled up to an open parking space close to city hall, something strange happened. The moment she pulled into the parking place, she felt a sudden hesitation about parking there. Some people refer to this as a “check in their spirit”. Whatever it was, she felt it. She did not know why she felt that way but could not deny it. She backed out of the parking place and found another one approximately a block away. They got out of the car and went into a store close to where they had parked. They were in the store for what seemed like only a few minutes, when chaos broke out on the square. If you remember back to June of 2013, you will know what happened next. A gun fight that had broken out elsewhere had spilled into the town square, and the gunman was killed in front of city hall. If the woman had parked in her original spot, they would have been right in the middle of the incident. By listening to that still, small voice, they ended up on the other side of the square and out of harm’s way.
Over the years, we have enjoyed many memorable conversations with folks who have experienced similar “God urges”. We have not been involved in anything as dramatic as what this couple experienced, but we have our share of stories. One that comes to mind is a time when we were heading to Waxahachie one Sunday for a friend’s surprise birthday party. As we approached 281, I asked my wife, “Do you think we are supposed to go to the birthday party today?” She said, “Not really, but I can’t imagine why not.” I agreed that there wasn’t anything wrong with the birthday party but felt like maybe God wanted us to be somewhere else for the day. I said, “I feel like we are supposed to go to Waco.” She said, “Really?” I said, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure of it.” She said, “Okay, let’s go with it.” We called the friend’s son who had arranged the surprise birthday party and told him we would not be able to make it. We went to Waco instead. We had no idea what we were going to do when we got there.
We arrived in Waco and milled around for a few hours, but, no “God event” occurred. We were kind of disappointed because it seemed like we had wasted the day and could have been at the birthday party. As we left, we decided to take the long way around and go through Killeen. I saw a sign for an Academy sporting goods store. I pulled in to go to the restroom and thought to look around while I was there. As I exited the restroom, I see my wife talking to someone I recognized as the manager of another Academy in Temple. As I walked up, he said, “I’m so glad to see ya’ll.” Life had thrown him some nasty curve balls, and he was really struggling. In short, he had even lost his home in the housing bubble fiasco. He had just transferred from the Temple store to the Killeen store. We talked to him for nearly three hours in the foyer of the restrooms. This man was already a Christian but was really needing to know that God cared. He said, “I think God sent ya’ll to me today. I needed it.” I said, “Let us tell you the rest of the story. We were headed to a birthday party in Waxahachie, but then felt like God redirected us to Waco, but nothing happened there, so we headed home, via Killeen….Through all those twists and turns, we ended up at the bathroom at the same time you did. Doesn’t sound like a coincidence.” Would God totally rearrange our day for just one person? You bet.