Lord, Let Me Be More Awkward.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

 Photo by Kaitlin Shelby on Unsplash

I like to think I am getting better at listening to the Holy Spirit's little nudges. But maybe I just hope that I am?

If I'm being honest, it's not too difficult to know which thoughts come from God, that is, which instincts are those He wills. They are the restless pings of my conscience, or the thoughts that surface as inspired "great ideas" -- returning stray grocery carts, giving a stranger my Starbucks gift card, calling a family member I haven't spoken with in a while, paying for my friend's meal, or donating the money I wanted to use to buy a new lipstick toward disaster relief efforts. I know these impulses -- these inclinations toward random acts of kindness and love -- come from God.

So the question (for me at least) is not so much, "How do I listen for the Holy Spirit?" but rather, "Will I choose to obey the Spirit when I hear it?"

And that's the key, isn't it? Obedience. When we ask someone to listen to us, we want them to not only hear what we have to say... but act on it, too.

In Luke 9:35, at the scene of Christ's Transfiguration, we read the following: "Then from the cloud came a voice that said, 'This is my chosen Son; listen to him.'" And it's clear that our obedience is what He's asking for there -- not just a passive hearing.

See, when I say I think I'm getting better at listening to the Holy Spirit, I think what I mean is that I'm getting better at identifying what comes from Him. Most days I feel I don't do a great job of acting on it, though. And sometimes it's because whatever it is feels inconvenient; I'm in a hurry, so I'll do it "later"... (which, of course, often turns into, "never." Cringe.)

But other times? Other times I ignore the whispers, the Godly impulses, because... well, because I'm afraid of feeling awkward. What if I compliment that girl on her dress but she shrugs it off? What I flash one of those big, warm grins at a stranger on the street and they don't return it? What if the comforting words I seek to offer a brokenhearted friend come out stilted and stiff and feeble? What if I call an estranged family member but they don't want to talk to me? What if I'm the only one at the party who brings a hostess gift and it's just... weird? What if my friend thinks I'm strange when I break apart from our conversation to offer the grizzled man on the corner the granola bar in my purse?

Does anyone else struggle with this? I'm so afraid that the answer is no.

But if, dear reader, there's a fear in you like the one in me, I want to invite you to join me in saying this short and simple prayer: "Lord, let me be more awkward in the pursuit of Your Sacred Heart."

Amen.

1 comment :

  1. Don't forget how horribly awkward Peter was right before the cloud appeared, when he piped up and said "Hey Jesus, good thing we're here, we can set up some tents for you and Moses and Elijah." That part always made me cringe...

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