As humans many things get lost in translation, but is it worth it to simply ignore a message that could benefit so many? It is true that we may think that we hear something from God and in actuality we got the message totally wrong. We may even make fools of ourselves, not for Christ, (1 Cor 4:10), but simply by doing an imperfect foolish human act all on our own. With all that being said, what if we chose not to act on what we thought we heard from God and we missed an opportunity to do life with Him. For years, my view was "What if I did not hear God correctly", but as "A Work in Progress" I am learning to live my life thinking what if I heard God correctly and did not obey.
A mistake is simply a "missed take" at something that we tried to do. I would rather do and miss a take from God, than don't and miss a take from God. Either way I would have missed a take, but only one choice would have kept obedience at the forefront of my relationship with my Heavenly Father.
So what does all this have to do with buying toilet paper? Everything to me. A while back I was standing at a register of a local convenient store when I noticed a large package of toilet paper waiting patiently behind the scanner. I glanced and noticed a couple who were waiting for my transaction to finish so they could buy their super saver size bathroom tissue. Then I thought I heard a voice in my heart say, "Tell the cashier to ring up their toilet paper on your order." Without hesitation, I have learned the hard way that if I hesitate in situations like these I end up walking in regret. So, even though I thought this was crazy I obeyed. Then the husband of the couple looked at me, smirked and rolled his eyes in an amused way, and said, "No, we got this. We can buy our own toilet paper thank you." I said, "Okay", paid the cashier, and took my purchases and my kids to my car. I thought to myself, that was pretty silly trying to buy someones' toilet paper, but I still knew that I had done the right thing.
As I started my car, put it in reverse, and looked over my shoulder I caught a glimpse of the "toilet paper" couple driving off shaking their heads and laughing. I looked at my daughter in the back seat, who had a funny smile on her face as well. I then embarked on a learning moment conversation. We talked about what happened and I shared with her how I did not want to offer to buy the people in the store their toilet paper. I shared with her that I felt quite silly when I did, but I had to do what I thought God wanted me to do.
We were all shaking our heads that day. I am sure that we all wondered why I was prompted to do such a thing. Later that day, after I had let go of waiting for God to explain why He would ask me to do such a strange act, God began to paint a picture for me. He took me down a "What if" scenario regarding the couple whom I shared this strange interaction. I imagined them riding home and giggling about what they had experienced at the checkout counter that day. I then pictured them that night hanging out with family and friends recounting the experience. People laughing and making fun did play out in this scenario, but something else did as well. I imagined, among the laughter and poking fun at me the "toilet paper buying stranger" that one person finally asking, "So why did you not let her buy it, I mean even though it was weird, it still would have been free?"
Then the footage of this vision fast forwarded to the husband of this couple alone, after all his peers had left, thinking why it was that he did not let someone bless him. He began thinking of all the times he had pushed away blessings. In that moment God stopped the play in my head and reminded me that He knows the why and the impact each action has on individuals. In doing so, God let me know that when people begin thinking on how they react, sometimes that is an open door for God to send another person to minister to them in a more direct way.
The next day I spent the morning at women's event listening to stories of ladies who had stepped out of their comfort zones to bless someone. I was reminded of the importance of the sacrifice of self that we can all make to help another come to a revelation that could change a life.
Others may or may not receive what we are trying to serve them, but I am convinced that as "A Work in Progress" our obedience in and of itself is a blessing to the One we are truly serving. For when we serve God we open up an opportunity for others to be served, even if it is through one paper product at a time!
"But do not forget to do good and to share for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."
(Heb. 13:16 NKJV)