Hearing and responding to the Still Small Voice

This morning when I least expected it, I experienced a sudden, spur-of-the-moment prompt to go out of my way and do something good for someone. This happens pretty regularly, especially when I have been enjoying prayerful communion with God. I call it the Kind Little Thought.


For me, Kind Little Thoughts have been prompts like telling my boys I love them before they go off to school (rather than just grunt at them), reconciling a conflict more quickly than I want to (when I feel I'm in the right, it's easy to be slow to reconcile), or expressing something I appreciate about someone (instead of just thinking it and not saying it).

Now, here are three convictions I have about the phenomenon of the Kind Little Thought:

  1. The Kind Little Thought is more often than not the Still Small Voice (of God within me).
  2. The Kind Little Thought is an invitation to open a valve and release God's love by doing the corresponding Kind Little Action.
  3. Kind Little Actions, done with no strings attached, can contribute to Great Big Changes.

Kind Little Thought --> Kind Little Action --> Great Big Changes. Sounds pretty good, right?

Only sometimes the Kind Little Thought doesn't get converted into the Kind Little Action. Like today, for instance. This morning I went to yoga class and afterward as the students were milling around at the door, our instructor made an off-hand comment about needing to vacuum the floor of the studio before she left. Suddenly into my head popped a Kind Little Thought: "Vacuum the floor for her." I hemmed and hawed. I looked at my shoes. I pointed out to myself that I didn't know where the vacuum was.

I stepped into the doorway of the office. There was the vacuum, standing at attention and ready for use. I felt I was about to lose the wrestling match with this Kind Little Thought. But before I could be pinned down, I dodged left. I told myself that if I started vacuuming, I would interrupt the conversation going on among the instructor and the other students. And that wouldn't be very considerate, would it?

I saw my opening. I walked back to the front, gathered my things, said goodbye to everyone, and ducked out.

So lame! What was such a big deal about vacuuming the floor that I would squirm my way out of it? I don't know. Sometimes we are a mystery to ourselves -- and not in a good way.

This morning at yoga class, a Kind Little Thought did not get converted into a Kind Little Action. I'm owning it, asking for more of God's softening grace in my heart, and moving on. I want to be ready if another Kind Little Thought pops up this weekend. And I pray a Kind Little Thought or two will pop up for you today, tonight, and/or this weekend. We are together addressed by the Psalmist:
"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts..." (Ps 95:7-8).

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