Setting the Scene:
I have been praying since before leaving Cambodia that I would become more sensitive to the voice of God. I want to hear him, know his voice, have it be as familiar and recognizable as my own family’s voices. This past week both our older sons were home from Indiana University for their Spring Break. We had not seen them in person since we departed at the end of June 2013. But, as I certainly recall of my own college breaks, when this Spring Break rolled around, they were busy and our entire family wasn’t able to spend a lot of time totally together. (And just to be clear, that’s okay – they also need to see their friends). But we had made plans for Friday night, that at first it didn’t seem to work out, but then it did, and our entire family found its way into the Pizza Hut in Warsaw, Indiana on State Rd.15. As I was following my family across the parking lot toward the restaurant, I felt as if God was leading me to pay for someone’s dinner. I wasn’t even inside the restaurant yet and I was feeling this pretty clearly. I also was discussing with God our financial situation, but he seemed pretty clear in his directions.
Seizing the Moment:
When we walked in, there were a number of tables that were filled and I began looking around to determine which might be a good match for this surprise. When the hostess directed us into the side area of the restaurant, (for the locals: the one off to the right, down the stairs), I was disappointed because there wasn’t hardly anyone there. There was one table that looked as if it had already wrapped up its dinner and was preparing to make its way outside. So now the questions started to enter my mind, “Okay God, how does this work? If it’s just our family sitting out here, how do I know who to pay for?” There wasn’t really any answer that came back at this point.
Soon, however, this little area began to fill up. There were at least 3-4 various tables filling up with families and I wondered how I would know which one was the one I should be paying for. But then I saw her. She was part of a family of five that included all girls (I’m assuming they were all siblings). She sat in a high chair at the end of the table and she wore a sparkly, headband. I mean it was really sparkly – and she was as cute as a button wearing it. All the kids seemed very excited, mom and dad were enjoying their family and it seemed like it was just a great family “date night”. So, I determined that this was the family. I could feel the confirmation in my spirit.
Their waitress was not our waitress and so this was going to take some logistical magic, but eventually I figured it out. I followed their waitress out and up the steps after she brought them their pizza. I explained what I wanted to do and she just grinned and said she would work it out. It wasn’t much longer when our waitress brought a bill from their table and asked if we wanted to take care of it. I took a bill from my wallet that would cover the bill, a good tip, and explained that I wanted the remaining $20 to go to the family. “Just bring it to them when you should be bringing them the bill”. It took a bit of explaining and making sure everyone understood, but eventually our waitress left and we continued with our meal.
Simply the Icing on the Cake:
The family had no idea we were behind the payment of their bill. In fact, I had requested they not find out, and we actually left before they received their “bill”. On the way out, the waitress for their table expressed her gratitude for us taking care of their tab. And then she said something that just took our joy to another level. She told us that it was one of the girl’s birthday that evening and the family was out celebrating the event. That knowledge just thrilled my spirit! I told the kids when we all got in the truck about the birthday, etc and they all thought it was a pretty cool thing as well.
I can’t claim that I react as quickly or as obediently to every prompting that the Spirit gives me. I wish I did. I think it truly is a matter of continued obedience that allows one to become more sensitive to God’s voice. I will say this, I want, more than anything to hear his voice and act in obedience every time.
Seeing the Future:
One of the reasons why I desire to hear and react to the voice of God is that our future is very much up in the air. There are so many possibilities, opportunities, and questions about it all. I want to limit the worldly distractions, the things that crowd in and silence his voice, so that I can clearly hear him say, “go” or “stay” or “……” I know of others who clearly hear God’s voice, who react to it with precise obedience and it amazes me. I want that for my life. If he’s talking to me at Pizza Hut or in the church house, I want to know clearly that it’s him and then move quickly in obedience to his direction.