Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just Do It

I have my moments of spontaneity, but I usually like to think things through (at least briefly) before I take action. I want to weigh the pros and cons and make sure I'm not doing something foolish. By and large, that's probably a good habit to have, but I've realized that when the Holy Spirit directs me, it's not usually through my head. God isn't presenting a long list of orderly, logical arguments to convince me to do what He wants me to do. Instead I feel a deep urging inside that says, "Just do it." No reasons, no explanation, no logic. Just do it.

I've let those deep impulses lead me to do all sorts of things. Some were seemingly insignificant and others major. Sometimes I was moved to take immediate action, and sometimes a seed was planted in me that grew over time. Still, all of the gut feelings that I attribute to the Holy Spirit encourage me to move beyond myself, to connect to someone or something else in a way that often puts me a little outside my comfort zone. They might not be downright foolhardy, but these urges often defy logic. There's no good reason why I should take these actions except that there is a very compelling voice deep inside me telling me to do it. That sounds a little crazy, but I think I have to be willing to be a little crazy in order to effectively submit to the Spirit's guidance.

My husband and I were friends for about two years before we started dating each other. Our attraction to each other was so subtle at first that I sometimes think it's amazing that we even got together. As soon as the connection was made, though, everything fell into place. We had agreed to take it slow, but one week into our romantic relationship we were head over heels and I already knew deep down that we would end up married. We didn't tie the knot right away, of course, and I did have my doubts from time to time during our relationship, but my gut was insisting the whole time that we were meant for each other. I still don't necessarily understand why, but I am certain that God intended for the two of us to be together. I've been willing to follow that instinct, even when my brain gets freaked out by some of the challenges in our relationship.

Not all of my divinely inspired moments have been such a big deal. Once I felt led to go and see someone at a particular time. I had something to tell him, but I didn't think he'd be available at that particular time, and it seemed silly to just show up when he wasn't expecting me. Still, a voice inside me urged, "Just do it." Maybe I would be making a trip for nothing, and maybe he would think I was weird for just showing up like that. But I decided to do it. I bumped into him just as he was finishing with something and about to go somewhere else. It was the perfect moment to catch him, a case of perfect serendipity. It wasn't a momentous occasion, but it left a deep mark of joy on me.

On another occasion I was coming home from an appointment and I saw a pair of hitch hikers by the side of the road. As a rule, I never pick up hitch hikers, especially when I'm alone. I continued on my way, but something inside me told me to go back and try to help them. I ended up taking them about an hour out of my way (and then an hour to get me back home). I still wouldn't make it a general practice to pick up hitch hikers, but I just knew deep inside that I was being called to help them. So I just did it. Again, it wasn't that big of deal, but it sure made me feel good to listen to that little voice inside me.

One of the biggest struggles I have with following the Spirit is dealing with money. How much do I spend? How much do I save? How much do I give? Am I being a reckless steward if I don't save for tomorrow and make sure my needs are taken care of? Am I being stingy if I save instead of giving? I do all the math and try to justify my decisions, and I forget to listen to that little voice in my gut. I pray but I don't listen attentively to the Spirit's response. Right now my husband and I are about to pledge to our church for 2010 and to consider our donations to other worthy causes that we support. I've been listening to my head and not my heart, but it's not too late. I want to challenge myself to pray together with my husband and to block out our own worries, fears, and justifications so that we can listen to what the Spirit is calling us to do. Then, I want to just do it. After all, that's worked out for me pretty well so far.

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