“I neglect God and His angels, for the noise of a fly, for the rattling of a coach, for the whining of a door.”- John Donne, English poet (1572-1631)
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”- Hebrews 13:2 (ESV)
The temperature soared to 95 degrees on July 5th as Vicki and I arrived at the Shalom Wildlife Zoo in West Bend, WI. As the cashier took our admission fees, we inquired about renting a golf cart to navigate the trail. When we were told it was a half-hour wait, we decided to walk. After all, how long could the trail at this ‘small’ zoo be?
However, we soon found out! About 1 1/2 miles into our walk, we began to fade. So we sat down on a bench to rest. But little did we know guardian golf cart angels trailed us. As Bruce and Betty kept an eye on our struggles, Betty felt God prompting her to ask us if we wanted a ride. Not one nudge, but two! After the second, Betty called out to us.
Bruce and Betty live in Sterling, IL, with their three beautiful Beauceron girls. On weekends Bruce and Betty often take the girls to dog shows. At the shows, Bruce, a Brethren in Christ pastor, conducts a Sunday chapel service. The Independence Day weekend, though, they drove to downtown Milwaukee for a human-only getaway. And a waiter at the Hotel Metro facilitated this divine appointment by suggesting they take in the Shalom Wildlife Zoo.
Writing in Whispers: How to Hear the Voice of God (2017), Mark Batterson underscores what you need to discern the voice of God. You require an internal clock that perceives His promptings. Above all, at a critical moment or appointed time, your reaction to these promptings leads to supernatural synchronicities. As a result, you find yourself in the right place at the right time with the right people.
Therefore, Pastor Batterson adds a very blunt observation. Just ignore the noise of a fly:
“Loving your neighbor starts with an awareness of his or her existence. No one is in your life by accident; everyone is there by divine appointment. It’s your job not just to notice them, but to care for them. . . . The most caring thing you can do is talk to God about them, and listen to Him regarding them.”
The New Testament uses the word kairos to describe this opportune time. While chronological time (chronos) counts minutes, kairos captures moments – critical moments, or the appointed time. And measuring life in kairos moments involves hearing God’s voice as you discern such moments.
Certainly, it’s easy to fall back on a phenomenon known as status quo bias. That’s the tendency to keep doing what you’ve been doing without giving it much thought. Yet, status quo bias represents a major impediment to spiritual growth. For, Mark cautions, if you’re not careful, it’ll keep you from discovering God’s promptings.
Consequently, when you receive a nudge from the Holy Spirit, Pastor Batterson exhorts, obey the prompting. In fact, Mark likens it to the Holy Spirit’s elbow right in your ribs. Because ignoring the noise of a fly might just result in someone else’s miracle. Perhaps in the form of golf cart angels!
Finally, Pastor Batterson observes, it takes practice to learn to discern God’s promptings. But as you pick up the nuances, you’ll get better at hearing God’s subtle whispers. Most significantly, God patiently nudges you over and over and over again. Hence, Mark encourages:
“So how do we make sure we don’t miss those God-ordained opportunities? We have to turn up the volume on the still small voice of God and make sure He’s the loudest voice in our lives.”
And never pass up a ride from your guardian golf cart angels!