The other day I had it in my head to do something that I thought might be helpful to both a friend and to me. I planned to go directly to her house after work and arrange it. On the way home, I got a flat tire. That's always a bit inconvenient. What made it more annoying is that I couldn't figure out what caused the flat which means that the replacement tube may also be in jeopardy. Slightly delayed by this little incident, I continued home instead of to my friend's house - after texting that I would be late. As I was a bit disgruntled and lazy, I decided to drive the few blocks to her house rather than walk. Except the car wouldn't start. So I did walk. It was a lovely evening and a pleasant walk. But I wondered - Was the Lord putting obstacles in my path to tell me that what I was doing was a bad idea? I didn't have a bad feeling about my plan. So I wondered, was the Other Guy putting obstacles in my path to keep be from doing something good? Or was it just that's the way life is sometimes? Still not too sure.
But it got me thinking about obstacles and stumbling blocks and doors and things. When is it a test? When is it a warning? When is it our bad brother trying to throw us off? And when is jt just dumb luck?
Here's what I think. The Lord is often subtle, but He is not usually really sneaky. This didn't seem to be the kind of thing He uses (for me usually, anyway) by way of direction. He sometimes closes doors. And that is something I often pray for, "Please open and close the right doors for me." When I was looking for my current job and going on interviews, I really needed a job, but I also wanted a good fit - a place I would not hate going to work. I prayed for the right doors. Places where I interviewed and really did not want to work did not call me. Even though I thought I muffed this interview, I knew that I would rather work for Parks than most places and they did call me. I still remember when Liz offered me the job and asked when I could start. It was Friday and I was at the church working on a ward activity I was in charge of. I told her I could start Monday and she said, "I am so exited!" What an uplift that was! but I digress. The Lord has given me dark cloud feelings or just kind of dullness or had someone turn me down. I don't know. The bike tire and the dead battery just didn't feel like heavenly messages. But how can you tell? Do you know? Yes, of course, you can ASK. Always should check with the Boss.
What are some ways the Lord directs your path? I remember once being called to serve in the Primary presidency, knowing the call was right, but having a dark cloud descend UNTIL I chose the names of my counselors. Another one, I don't usually instigate phone calls partly because I have a bad habit of staying on the phone too long once I get there. But I remember calling a friend who then told me that she had been crying and praying, and then the phone rang and it was me and it was her answer. (!) I don't remember feeling INSPIRED to call her, but I was. When I made a HUGE decision that runs somewhat counter to the Mormon ideal - so that was a hard thing to choose, everything felt lighter - the air around me, my spirit, even my body (which was not and is not light). As we implemented the decision, light came into my home and the lives of me and my children that I had not realized was so badly missing. I was almost afraid that the temple doors would refuse to open for me, but they didn't. In fact, I remember feeling a "welcome."
Well, I have rambled and not made much sense and my time is more than up. Can you share - How does the Lord direct you?