A Musing on ‘Movements’ of the Spirit
A few years ago, my friend and I decided to get some ice cream after a workout. We did this occasionally, and when we did my friend usually insisted on paying. We made our order at the drive-thru and pulled up to the window to pay. I gave my friend a few dollars to hand to the cashier. I said that I could pay for the ice cream this time.
My friend was embarrassed. “I saw some $1s on my dresser before I left. I should’ve brought them with me,” he said. “The Spirit told me to, but I didn’t listen.”
I raised an eyebrow, but didn’t say anything.
“Yeah, because the Spirit–the HOLY Spirit–told you to take that money so you could buy ice cream,” I thought. It’s not that I thought he was lying, or that the Holy Spirit doesn’t move people…
I just figured the Holy Spirit wouldn’t bother with something as trivial as some cash to buy ice cream with later.
But, as I write this, years later, that memory has stuck with me. That recollection of me and my friend in the drive-thru, and the “movement” of the Spirit that he had ignored.
Perhaps my friend was wrong when he said he felt the Spirit ‘moving’ him to take that cash. Maybe the Spirit doesn’t bother with something that trivial. Maybe he was experiencing something more earthly than heavenly.
But, there are times, in my life (and in your life, too, I assume) where there were little “hints”… little “nudges”… that said to do something out of the ordinary… to change the routine… because it will be for the better.
Like a woman who feels, for some reason, that she should take a different way home that day, and finds out later there was a traffic accident along her usual route. If she hadn’t changed her routine, she would’ve been stuck in traffic.
Or the man who decided to call in sick to work one September morning, and, later, watched in horror as a plane crashed into the North Tower floor where he worked.
Maybe it’s luck or happen-chance. Maybe it’s a strange human instinct or “sixth sense.” But, we as Catholics believe that there is a Holy Spirit – a being that inspires and moves us to do God’s Will in our lives.
If we don’t listen to those movements, it’s only that much harder to accomplish God’s Will. The Spirit has to “re-route,” as it were, and find another opportunity to move us.
Now, why do I mention my friend and the ice cream?
I can’t speak as to the specific circumstances of “why God would want my friend to take the cash,” but I can say this:
If we listen to God in the little things, it is easier to listen to him in the big things.