Listen

Listen-LisaHarperAnd your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21)

God gives us specific directions—even when life is loud and chaotic. All we have to do is listen.

I hate to admit it, but the most recent place I heard divine GPS (I’ve intentionally rechristened that term to mean “God’s Positioning System” because the lady who lives in my dashboard has an annoying voice unlike the pleasant tone of the Holy Spirit in my head) was in the drive-thru line at Taco Bell.

I was in a hurry as usual and the joint that blessed the world with the bazillion-calorie-Doritos-inspired taco was the only place I had time to grab a bite before racing into another meeting. So I wheeled into their drive-thru with the thought: I think there’s some little bean thingy on their menu that’s only like ten points at Weight Watchers. And while I was pondering the I-bet-this-makes-real-Mexicans-wince list on the menu in front of me, a very sweet voice piped out of the metal talk box:

“Welcome to Taco Bell, may I take your order, please?” I was surprised by the genuine kindness in the disembodied voice so I said, “You sure can! I want one of those little plain bean burritos and a Diet Pepsi, please.” Then I pulled around the corner to meet the person the voice lived in.

The first thing I noticed was that she had a wide smile, which in my experience is an atypical expression for a teenager working the drive-thru window. I’m more used to sullen and clipped with a side order of rolled eyes. In that exact moment, I sensed God poking me and whispering, She could use a little encouragement today, Lisa. So, I said, “You have a great voice and a wonderful smile, what’s your name?” To which, she grinned wider and said, “My name is Leondria.” I asked, “Lee-Own-Dree-Ah?” She replied firmly, “No, Lee-Awn-Dree-Uh.” And I said, “Oh . . . your mama sure was creative!” Which I hoped made up for my abysmal ability to pronounce urban names. Then I said, “Lee-Awn-Dree-Uh, you remind me of a verse in the Bible that says, ‘Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame’ (Psalm 34:5 niv).”

Of course, we’d only known each other for thirty seconds, so I wasn’t sure how well the affirmation would go over. But then in a tumble of words Leondria told me it was her eighteenth birthday and she’d been bummed all afternoon because she really wanted to be hanging out with her friends instead of being stuck in a Taco Bell drivethru.

She explained that she’d just been thinking, Lawd, I need some kind of reminder that you see me today because this ain’t exactly how I wanted to spend my birthday, before I appeared. Her eyes lit up as she exclaimed, “Then He sent me YOU to remind me of how special I am!” And for a minute there I thought she was going to try and squeeze through that itty-bitty window to hug me.

The next time you’re feeling flummoxed by the length of your to-do list, just breathe, then lean in and listen for God’s directions. He might tell you to be still . . . or He might just guide you to do some small something for someone else before tackling your own seemingly gigantic stuff!

From Overextendedand Loving Most of It. © 2013 Lisa Harper (Thomas Nelson, Inc.) Used by permission.

Comments

  1. 2 months ago
    Taylor says

    What a great story! God is always there for you no matter what. It may be hard to hear him at sometimes, but we it is important that we open up our ears and wait for the words that we have been waiting to hear. They may not be what we would have hoped, but God always has a plan. No matter what! He is our personal GPS giving us directions to live our life to the fullest, and to what he had intended it to be ! It is amazing how one small word or act of kindness can change someone’s day.

  2. 2 months ago
    Carolyn says

    I just live this drive thru story… I loved it when I read for the first time in Lisa’s book, and I love it again reading it this morning while I’m sitting waiting for my nails to dry! :)
    The way Lisa reached out and just threw LOVE on this Teen means so much!! Like Jesus she met that child right where she was- just as she is and encouraged her through loving scripture.
    Thank You for using Jesus’s expression of being a light!!

  3. 2 months ago
    Margaret Oliver says

    Good Morning, thanks you for such awesome inspiration this glorious day it was placed at the right moment (days later) when I open this e mail but I open it this day… the day that I truly need to read such need spiritual healing, on time for me, thank you and keep touching lives may God keep you…

  4. 2 months ago
    Carol says

    Lisa…just loved your story! Was a blessing. I first heard you last year in Houston, Texas & was so touched by your personal story of your little Angel Missy! So wish you would keep us updated with your reunion with her & bringing her to the USA. You kept me in stitches laughing so hard of your experiences with her. God bless you & can’t wait to hear you again at another WOF conferences.

  5. 2 months ago
    Sue B says

    It is funny to read this today, as yesterday we were out to eat with friends and their children. Our boys were in heaven as the other families had boys too. But our 16 year old daughter was not enjoying being there as the only teen girl. I noticed her discomfort and said a little prayer. A little bit later, I felt this nudging to look around the restaurant, so I did. To my amazement on the other side, sitting by herself, was a widow lady from our previous church who had been my daughter’s prayer buddy when she was in grade school. I looked back at my daughter and pointed out to her who was sitting across the restaurant. Lo and behold she jumped up and headed over to the lady. She sat down and visited with her for quite a while and when my daughter came back she had a smile on her face. As our pastor had told us earlier that morning, ‘each of us has a purpose for being right where we are, as a GOD appointed moment, we just need to listen to the voice telling us what it is’. Just what does GOD have purposed for you today, if you are listening?

  6. 2 months ago
    Missy says

    What a neat story! Thank you for sharing that. You had just the right word. God is so awesome, and you are for listening. By the way, a tostada is 6 points, and the Baja chicken chalupa which is very very tasty is 12. Have a great day!

  7. 2 months ago
    Phyllis says

    This is great. We Women of Faith need to always shine the Light. There is so much need and searching for answers. There are a lot of other religions trying to capitalize on the weak and unknown. We can spend 2-5 minutes and start changing the world one at a time.:)

  8. Such a cool story! I love it when things like that happen. Thank you for reminding us to listen to God. There have been times when I wasn’t sure whether to go with what I felt God was nudging me to say to someone, but when we do, amazing things happen. Blessings!

  9. 3 months ago
    Sandy says

    Thank you for sharing this. The more I study about the Holy Spirit, the more I realize the untapped power we have in us to be a conduit for Jesus. I want to be an instrument of peace and love. This was a perfect example.

  10. 3 months ago
    Wande says

    Thank you for sharing. How often do we want to do “something big” when all God really wants is for us to listen, and then do what he asks of us? Thanks for reminding us again.

  11. 3 months ago
    Loretta Pearson says

    Congrats to Lisa and Missy!!! I’ve prayed for Lisa and Missy for a years now and am so excited to know Missy is finally home with Lisa!

  12. 3 months ago
    Joan says

    What a great story. Lisa you rock.

  13. 3 months ago
    Mary Jo Moore says

    How true this is as there are days when clerks, people standing in line, or people with the weight of the world on their shoulders need an encouraging word. Thank you, Lisa, for listening to your “GPS”.

  14. Lisa, what an excellent reminder of Christ’s constant movement in each of our lives! I love that your love for Him made you obedient to be used in the lives of others. Another point is that you did not let the “name fumble” get in the way of your drive-through mission! This kind of thing can really move someone away from their ultimate goal, which is to follow the GPS. Great message, thanks for sharing!

    PS- your bean burrito choice is “health coach” approved (4 grams of sat fats and 3 grams of added sugars!)

  15. Love your story. It made me smile. I need to ask God to help others and connect with others.

  16. So incredibly blessed by this story this morning. God is continuing to affirm a message in me to be a blessing people, and Lisa’s story is another great reminder. Thank you for sharing this story.

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