Friday, June 5, 2009

Mysterious Ways

I believe in divine intervention. While I don’t believe God controls our lives, I do believe he manifests himself in our lives. I don’t think he shows himself to us like with Moses and the Burning Bush or when Jesus walked the earth. Instead, God uses us, mere mortals, to perform his blessings and miracles.

Such was the case with myself recently when God guided me to help out a perfect stranger in need. I had just finished a round of golf with some friends at Brookhaven Country Club and was starting to drive home. Instead of going back to I-635, driving to Central and heading for Mckinney, I decided to follow the Brookhaven club road, which changed names to something else after crossing Marsh lane, and see where it came out. I figured it would take me to Belt Line and then I would proceed to Central, cutting off some of the distance of the other route.

However, I didn’t pay attention to the name of the street at the next traffic signal and turned right onto, not Belt Line, but Spring Valley. I noticed my mistake after a couple of blocks, but thought, oh well, this takes me to Central and still makes for a shorter trip, distance wise.

Another reason I decided to take the side streets back to Central was because I planned to stop somewhere along the way and get me a fountain drink. As I came to a stop at the signal of Spring Valley and some street whose name escapes me, I was in the middle of 3 traffic lanes, behind two other cars. There was also a right turn only lane there. I looked at the store on the corner, a Chevron station, and thought that might be as good a place as any to get my drink. But wait, I would have to cross over a lane of traffic just to get to the right turn lane and then turn on the nameless street to turn into the store. Seemed like a lot of trouble. But, when the spirit speaks, sometimes even I listen. I checked my mirrors and there was no approaching traffic, so I pulled into the right turn lane, turned right and pulled into the parking lot of the Chevron.

As I got out of the car to go in, I noticed a gentleman sitting up against the wall of the building with a back pack by his side. I am not sure why I took notice of him except that he looked tired and like someone in need. I went in to the store and bought my fountain drink. I planned to ask the gentleman if he was waiting for a ride when I came out, just to see if he needed any assistance. But sometimes I don’t listen to the spirit. When I came out, I smiled at him and started for my car.

Fortunately, something, I believe God, pressed him into speaking to me. He asked if he could use my cell phone. I said sure and then realized that I had left it in the car after I called home when I was leaving the golf club. So I retrieved the phone and gave it to him. We had a short conversation while he was calling two different numbers. He said he was trying to contact his friends in Midland to come pick him up. It was $70 to take a bus and he didn’t have it.

I had only $10 dollars in cash on me and God told me to give it to this man. If I had $70 on me, I would have given it to him. I handed him the money and said I hoped this would speed him along in his journey and may God bless him. He thanked me fervently. Call me naïve, but I could tell it meant a lot to him. If nothing else, it would buy him a meal.

After I left him there, I felt the holy spirit manifest itself in me stronger than it has in a while. Suddenly, my troubles seemed to fade from existence. My only regret is that I did not do more. But the important thing is that I did something, in the name of God, to help out a fellow human being; a brother of Jesus.

Now, I know that most, if not all of this, could have been coincidence. My decision to follow the Brookhaven road to see where it went, mistakenly turning on to the wrong street, having the urge, not to mention the opportunity, to turn into the Chevron station. This man just happening to be there and just happening to need help and ask me for it.

But as I said in the beginning, I believe in divine intervention. I believe that God put me in that position, at that time, to help this man in what little way that I did. God didn’t make me do any of this. But he gave me the opportunity and, fortunately for me, I took it. Because, while it was the stranger that received the help I gave, I felt blessed as much, or perhaps more, than he did. And that is the beauty of God on this earth.