Believe me when I say “Complicated” used to be my middle name. Sandra Complicated McCollom.
I spent the first 34 years of my Christian life over-riding the promptings of the Holy Spirit. This made for one frustrated existence.
Because of the way I used to live, I can’t even express how much I enjoy the ministry of the Holy Spirit in my life. I now enjoy following the leading of the Holy Spirit instead of my own mind, but for decades my mind led the way. In fact, in my book I talk about how God helped me make the switch from living by my brain to living by His leading and how that’s a huge reason I now enjoy peace as much as I do!
But there are still times when I choose to go the way of my own self efforts resulting in a complicated existence for a couple of hours or a day or sometimes more.
Here’s a story hot off the press about how I did just that – ignored several promptings from the Holy Spirit. Listen to how complicated this gets.
Yesterday we took the day off from homeschool to get out since the weather finally warmed up around here. My girls and I wanted to take our dogs to this new dog park close to where we live. We planned on doing this as a family when Steve got off work so I called them right away at 8 am yesterday morning. One of the vaccines our dogs’ needed expired late last week. I had already scheduled to take them into the vet today to get it, but in order to get into the dog park, they had to have it done yesterday, before we arrived.
Now, get ready for your head to spin. Ha! I called our vet to see if by some chance they could get Bella and Sophie in yesterday morning to get that vaccine so we could still enjoy our afternoon at the dog park as a family after Steve got home from work. Jeannie, from our vet’s office said, “I’m so sorry but the doctor took a very rare day off today.”
I replied, “Do you think there’s anywhere else in town we could go to get it?” She named a few places. Then she said she would email me Bella & Sophie’s shot records of the two vaccines they were up-to-date on so I could either print them off and take them with me or email them to the dog park as they had to have proof of the updated vaccines.
Does this sound complicated yet? Well, let me tell you, I’m just getting started (hahaha)!
I then called an animal hospital close by and secured an appointment with them for the afternoon at 2:30pm, right before we would need to head over to the dog park. But since we had planned this day off we were also planning to meet my Mom at the nail shop at noon and then go back to my parents’ house and spend some time with her. I thought, “Hmmm? how am I going to be able to do all that and get home to get Bella & Sophie before their appointment for their vaccine?”
I then wondered, “ Maybe I can take them and leave them in the car with the windows slightly rolled down while we get our nails done and then take them to my parent’s house for the visit with my Mom before going to their vet appointment. We have only left them in the car once for a short time while doing something so I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision; therefore, I proceeded to ask both of my girls their opinion, called Steve to ask him his opinion and even texted my Mom to ask her opinion! In fact, I believe I either texted or called my Mom at least 7 times yesterday morning to keep her updated on all the details.
It was at this point in my planning that the thought came to me (which I believe was the Holy Spirit trying to save me time), “This sure seems complicated. I wonder if we are not suppose to be doing this.” I ignored the prompting and plowed forward because after all, I argued with myself, “I need to do this for my family or they may be disappointed.”
So I got all those details ironed out and at some point in this whole fiasco I emailed those shot records to the dog park and asked them to let me know if they received them. I didn’t hear back so I called them to make sure. In fact, I must’ve called the dog park 4 or 5 times that morning as well to ask different questions.
At one other point in the process I had the same thought, “This sure seems complicated. Maybe we’re not suppose to be doing this.” Again, I ignored the thought and pressed on.
By now we were almost finished at the nail shop when my girls and I started to get hungry. We were talking about how my mom would take the girls back to her house while I went through a drive-through somewhere to get us some food. I told my girls to text me their food order.
It was right about this time when I received a text from my husband that said this:
Oh. My. Goodness. I immediately opened up my weather app and saw it was true and figured out that by the time we got to the dog park we would only be there 1 hour before it got too cold for us to stay. I’m so thinking at that point, “Holy Spirit, you’ve been trying to save me from wasting my time all day, haven’t you?!”
I called Steve and asked him what he thought and he said, “I prefer not to go to the dog park, but I’ll do whatever you and the girls want to.” I then asked the girls and they said, “Let’s wait till another day.” There goes my theory that they would all be disappointed if things didn’t work out.
ALL THAT WASTED TIME simply because I chose to over-ride the leading of my amazing Helper, the Holy Spirit.
Thankfully, this is rare for me these days, but let me tell you, this kind of day was my normal existence for oh so many years. In thinking about how I disregarded the Spirit’s promptings for so long, it’s not hard to see why I ended up writing a book titled “I Tried Until I Almost Died.” But the good news is, the subtitle is “From Anxiety & Frustration to Rest & Relaxation” because that’s exactly what’s happened. I’ve moved permanently out of the town of Anxiety & Frustration and into the town of Rest & Relaxation.
Yes, I ended up wasting all that time on a day that was suppose to be a day off, but I didn’t have a bit of guilt or condemnation over it. I knew the Holy Spirit was not mad at me even though I wasn’t listening. He knows how much I cherish His help in my everyday life!
In fact, us girls had a great visit with my Mom afterwords and got to spend extra time with her since we were no longer scheduled to go to the dog park. And look at the great memories we captured!
Following the Spirit’s lead in our everyday lives is so, so important and I believe sometimes He’s even trying to spare us from life-threatening situations. When you hear this I encourage you not to get freaked out wondering, “What if I miss an important prompting? What if? What if? What if?” Instead, I encourage you to go through each day believing and speaking, “I am sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Wherever He guides me, I follow!”
You see, being people who are led by the Spirit is what’s true about us because we have a brand new nature in Christ Jesus!
Look at this verse about the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Who wouldn’t want His amazing help!
“But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.” – John 14:26 (AMPC)
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!