Our family spent the post-Christmas week a few provinces away with family & friends in Manitoba, and after way too many cookies, late-night chats that I wished would never end, table games, and cramp-compounding laughs, it was finally time to head back home.
Last night we checked the weather and there was a storm front moving in that looked pretty iffy so we decided to play it by ear today. After launching out under a clear sky, the roads were slowly haunted by a burgeoning graveyard of a million snow ghosts drifting across the road. We stopped in Regina for a pee break and some prayer. I had a nagging sense that while the roads were still passable, we ought to pray. We circled around a Timmy’s table as a family and asked Jesus what to do. I had a pretty clear sense but I wanted to give my family an opportunity to hear from God too.
My immediate sense was that while it looked passable, there was something out there waiting that we could not forsee that was the real problem. Glory and Joel voted to stay, Shauna wanted to go on but wasn’t so sure, and Noah felt we should press on. He had a thought that we shouldn’t, but that seemed be overridden in his mind by a thought that we should press on. He teared up almost immediately, saying something about the fact that God was talking to him too.
What’s a dad to do? I wanted to give his hunch a shot, I really did. But I explained it this way: If I was wrong, we would have cut our day short for no reason and would make up the lost mileage tomorrow (about forty minutes). If he was wrong, we could wind up hurt, frozen, or worse. I simply could not ignore that little voice of the Spirit within me. By the time we piled into the van (a half hour stop including the prayer time) and started looking for a hotel, Shauna commented that the conditions were twice as bad. We would have driven right into that. Half an hour after that, the conditions were twice as bad as the twice as bad. As it turned out, we made the right call. Thanks, Jesus.
Noah was discouraged. But I used it as a teaching moment. He HAD heard the right thing, but something in his mind overrode that little voice and his own ideas clouded the guidance. Consulting more listeners helps, but we also have to look back and remember what each voice or thought “felt” like. The voice he dismissed was the right one. When he feels something like that again, he’ll pay more attention. And so we learn.
We all learn.
For more on listening to God and hearing the voice of God, check out my main site at www.presencevoicetouch.com.