“The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.” - Meister Eckhart
“Our actions – and inaction – touch people we may never know and never meet all across the globe.” - Jacqueline Novogratz
Living an awakened life is not unlike weaving a tapestry. Turn a tapestry over sometime. The reverse side, the side where all the work is done, resembles little more than a tangled maze of knots. If we are following the path and trusting God to show us the next right thing to do, God will use us. But we never get to see the full picture - we will go to our grave having little idea of the full implications of the actions we took in this realm. But sometimes we do see a part of the picture – sometimes more clearly than we would like.
I recently stopped in a town close to where I had just written a story, and found a quiet spot to sit for a few minutes. I was convinced that I would be moving on down the road in search of another story momentarily. A spiritually connected local man intuitively knew there was someone he was supposed to meet and sought me out. Two weeks of remarkable experiences (and thus stories) resulted from him having put forth the effort to find and meet me. He later said that he almost hadn’t listened – he almost hadn’t “shown up and sought me out.” I wondered what it was that made him so willing to follow God’s intuitive nudges. Later he told me a story that is quite instructive.
Twenty five years ago this man had gotten a nudge that he refused to follow. He has been involved for years in the prison ministry and has helped numerous men get on their feet after release, including many that he allowed to live with him in his own home. One evening several people were getting together to play some music, one of them being a man that had been released not so long before. After the man didn’t show up at the appointed hour, he felt a strong urge to go to the man’s house and check on him. In spite of the notion being strong and recurring, he wanted to be with the guys that were playing music. So he let it go.
Later that night it bothered him, and was still troubling him the next day. While he was at work, news came over the radio that there had been a murder-suicide in the town. The radio did not release any names or details, but he knew in his heart it was that man. He called the coroner, who he was friends with, and got the confirmation. Late the night before the man had shot his wife and committed suicide.
The next weekend he went to a spiritual retreat at a Christian camp. On a wall hung a painting of Jesus. He was struck to the core as he looked into the eyes of the image. There was no margin of error in the message that shook him – God said “You need to listen to me and heed what I say when I ask you to take action.”
Later, after the couple was buried, the man’s son came to visit and gave him a painting his father had done. Written below the man’s name on the back of the painting are the simple words: “Died 7/10/1990” followed by the name of the town. (The painting and the text on the rear are the image at the beginning of this reflection.)
That painting hangs prominently on a wall that this man cannot avoid seeing as he leaves his house each day. On another wall is a saying that in part says “I will never again have the opportunity to live this day. What price will I pay for it?” Every day since he has decided that he will follow that voice, and indeed, had he not, he and I would never have met.
Being of the Christian bent, some of the words of the bible speak clearly to him. Be hot or be cold, but don’t be lukewarm or I will spew thee out of my mouth.
The message for me in this was clear. I work hard to hear the voice clearly – in fact I put myself in hazardous life situations with perfect peace and comfort because I have found that what God leads me to he will lead me through. I talk often of the serenity and joy that come from the journey. I talk about all of the marvelous things that come into my life as a result of following the intuitive voice and the guidance of others who are connected. But I don’t talk about the things I miss or the negative consequences that result from the times I choose to ignore the voice. I have been blissfully unaware of them, but it might not always be so. If I am going to offer myself as a channel to God I had better remain willing, because it might not be just me who pays the consequences when I choose to ignore the call.
Today may I be reliable.
Let's be where our feet are today !!