Over the summer, I have occasionally noticed a little boy riding his back past my house. Well, I am not sure if it is his own bike, as it is about 2 sizes too big for him. He has to stand up to ride it. It looks dangerous and dare I say, risky, should he plan to produce children someday (if you catch my drift!). We happen to have a bike that no longer gets ridden. A boys bike, just about his size. Every time I see this boy, the thought occurs to me that maybe he would like to have it. That maybe it could be used and enjoyed, rather than collect dust in my garage. But I have never acted on that thought, until Tuesday.
I was sitting in my living room and this same boy rode by my window on not only a too-big bike, but a PINK bike. It took me about a minute before the thought came to me again—that maybe he would like to have our bike. I jumped up and ran outside but he was nowhere to be found. He had completely disappeared. I walked down to the intersection at the end of the block and looked in all directions. Nothing. As I turned around to walk home, I asked God for a sign. “God, if you want me to give him this bike, have him show up before I go back in my house” — but I did throw out the possibility that I might still do it, even if he didn’t show up in the next couple minutes. (As you can see, I had great confidence that God would answer…).
As I approached my house, I turned around one last time, and here he came. He rolled up on the pink bike and crossed over to my side of the street. Riding straight toward my house. Straight toward me. He didn’t really even seem surprised or uncomfortable about me asking him to stop. Or about the fact that, in a nutshell, I told him that I felt like God was telling me to give him the bike (As a rule, I would encourage my child to run from such a person). We agreed he would talk to his mom about it and come back this weekend to ride it and see if it was something he wanted. He said “thankyouverymuch” and left.
So here’s the part that disturbs me—even though I asked God for a sign, a very specific sign, when He answered it in less than 5 minutes time and exactly as I requested, I still doubted if this was actually from Him.
I still faltered on if He really wanted me to give this boy the bike. I mean, it was an expensive bike, after all. Maybe his parents don’t want him to have his own bike for some reason. Maybe I am interfering to make myself feel better about having too much stuff. Maybe he likes riding his big brother’s or sister’s bike! All these thoughts ran through my head immediately after God answered my prayer. As requested. In record time. That’s messed up. I don’t believe God reacts like I do to these types of things, but if He did, I imagine He would be pulling His hair out in frustration, saying, “seriously, Heather?”
A couple things come to mind as I try to understand myself on this.
Firstly, when I can’t accept God’s power and ability to influence my daily life, I have enthroned common sense.
Oswald Chambers says, “every time you venture out in the life of faith, you will find something in your common sense circumstances that flatly contradicts your faith. Common sense is not faith, and faith is not common sense.” No, it does not make sense to me, or to that little boy, that I would give a perfect stranger an expensive bike because God told me to do it. But it’s also pretty hard to make what happened prior to that fit in the common sense category either.
Perhaps you have had some of those moments. Moments where you just “know-in-your-knower” you are supposed to take an action—pay someone’s bill, send someone a specific text of encouragement that doesn’t make sense to you, call a friend you haven’t talked to in years, tell someone you forgive them or scarier yet, ask them to forgive you.
I guess my fear for myself is that if I can almost talk myself out of an action that you and I both know was pretty darn clear, how often do I talk myself out of less obvious things God is prompting me to do.
My second thought is this: Am I so afraid of what others will think of me that I choose to disobey God?
Sometimes the answer is “yes.” I don’t really want to be labeled a “Jesus-Freak” or a “weirdo”. And if it makes me the tiniest bit uncomfortable, it’s just easier to tell myself that I am just being impulsive and write it off as a crazy thought.
Or maybe, just maybe, living according to what God directs me to do is how I live the adventure that His way of life offers. Living any other way is boring, or should I say “Common.”