Does God ever interrupt you while you’re driving?
I was tooling along Blanchard St. in the middle of a late summer downpour just a couple of weeks ago. As I rounded the curve near the fire station, I noticed a guy on an old ten-speed bike up just ahead of me on the right–pumping as hard as he could, his slick grey rain pancho bobbing back and forth over the pavement. There’s not many things worse than riding a bike in a rainstorm. But there he was…
…and there I went–rushing right by him–on my merry way. (Did he feel my spray?)
Now there was a little hitch in my heart, mind you. There usually is with me–a moment where the empath stirs. But (thankfully?), it’s often just one of those random muscle twitches that irritates me and is quickly forgotten.
Yet I wonder if, more often than not, that twitch is God talking. But I bury Him in the noise of my everyday busyness and my aversion to discomfort.
Diethrich Bonhoeffer once wrote this in his classic, Life Together
It is not that God is the spectator and sharer of our present life, howsoever important that is; but rather that we are the reverent listeners and participants in God’s action in the sacred story, the history of Christ on earth. And only in so far as we are there, is God with us today also.
Ouch. He’s right. And maybe the guy on the bike will never hear a chapter from God’s Story because I missed the stop sign. I could have offered him a lift. So what if my seats got wet? Can a ten speed fit in the back of a Ford Taurus? I’ll never know.
I believe, like Bonhoeffer, that the more I practice reverent listening, the more I’ll hear His voice in the little, everyday things in my life that declare God’s action in my world.
Last Sunday, at the end of our Adult Bible Community in Warrenville (aptly titled “Listen Closely”), I gave everyone a little homework assignment. I asked all of us to take a few minutes every day this week to reflect back on how we listened in the little things. Did we choose to obey the quiet promptings or drive right on by? Why or why not?
I’m looking forward to next Sunday, when we report back. Did we listen? How did we respond?
In the mean time, I’ll be looking for my brake pedal.