On a long drive home recently, my GPS was slow in guiding my step after a rest stop with the girls. I started to prematurely turn on a frontage road instead of the Interstate, and quickly steered back to take the Interstate ramp at the next turn. I was patting myself on the back for saving us from a dreaded wrong turn and likely a longer trip from said wrong turn, when, suddenly, I hit the brakes. Literally. Traffic on I-70 across Missouri was at a bumper to bumper standstill, with a line of cars as far as I could see ahead of me.
As I stared at the rows of red brake lights and began to prepare the kids for what looked like it could be an extensive wait in traffic, I glanced to my right and saw car after car traveling at what appeared to be warp-speed compared to our standstill. How were they getting through, when we were motionless? The frontage road! THE frontage road I nearly turned onto by “mistake” just minutes beforehand.
I say “mistake,” because it hit me, while sitting in the creep and crawl of 20 minutes of delay, that maybe what I thought was a mistake was a little nudge by the Holy Spirit.
It happens pretty frequently. That little voice that reminds me to check to make sure doors are locked, the thought that crosses my mind to purchase refundable flights or hotel rooms in case of a change (when I rarely do), the action that I take like taking a wrong turn or stopping somewhere that initially seems like it’s causing a hindrance in my plans, but ultimately proves itself to be fruitful, as I avoid an accident or shutdown.
What appears sometimes to be a mistake is anything but. It’s divine intervention, guiding from the Holy Spirit. Whether it’s a major thing like the safety of my children, or a little thing like details of packing or planning a trip, the truth is, that guidance, that little nudge to give pause, to recognize or consider something, is available to us all.
And when I fail to respond to that little nudge, that little gut check, I usually see the repercussions of it. Forgotten items, sitting in a traffic jam, panicking over a circumstance that would have been avoided if I had just taken heed, I immediately recognize that I had been nudged for good reason and had to face the consequences of not following it.
What about you? I’m sure you likewise have experienced that little nudge, that little reminder to take notice of something, and noted when you were thankful to have acknowledged it and followed the gut reaction it induced, and likewise, had to take note when you failed to do so. What does the Holy Spirit nudge feel like to you? What has it looked like—a failed turn, a change in plans, a reminder to check on someone or something?
As this new year begins, one of my resolutions is to recognize and follow the nudge of the Holy Spirit in things big and small. Maybe you can join me in this resolution?