Several years ago I had an experience that profoundly impacted me and helped me to see how the Divine can use us to help others.
There are many “angels” on earth – people who devote their lives to helping others in some way. However, there are also those of us who are just average, everyday people that can be used to intervene in another person’s life.
Sometimes we are completely unaware that this is happening, and other times we become aware of it in a powerful way. I would like to share a personal story that demonstrates this.
About ten years ago, I was living a very stressful life. I was always in a hurry to complete everything I needed to do each day, and I usually moved at a high rate of speed, including when I was behind the wheel of my car. In the area where I live, most everyone drives very fast anyway, so I saw nothing wrong with doing it myself.
One morning I was running late for work and I was trying to hurry to get there on time. I ended up getting behind an elderly man that was traveling about 25 mph, which was highly frustrating to me. I grumbled under my breath as I drove closely behind him, trying to encourage him to either hurry up and drive faster, or get out of my way.
After several miles, he finally turned off and I sped up, trying to make up for lost time. Suddenly another car pulled out in front of me, also traveling about 25 mph. I couldn’t believe my bad luck. I repeated the same scenario, impatiently following along behind, grumbling under my breath the whole way to work.
Yes, I was late to work that morning, and very annoyed about it.
Over the next couple of weeks, I began to notice something odd happening.
Every time I got in my car to drive somewhere, I ended up behind a driver who was going painfully slow. I would follow closely behind, getting more and more frustrated. As soon as that person turned off and I sped up again, I would end up behind another car going very slowly.
This happened every single time I drove somewhere. I started to get the feeling that something strange was happening. During this period of my life I was just beginning my spiritual journey, so I wasn’t as “tuned in” as I would be now.
Still, I knew something was going on, I was clearly being given a message to slow down. I wrote about it in my journal and pondered why. Why should I slow down? I couldn’t think of any answers, but I decided to go with the flow and see what happened.
It took some practice because I was so used to driving fast. But every time I did, I’d end up behind a slow-moving vehicle and I’d remember to slow down again. As soon as I slowed down, the slow-moving vehicle would turn off.
It was actually quite comical the way it kept happening over and over, though I still didn’t understand why.
Finally, the day came when the answer hit me harder than I ever could have imagined.
I was leaving work one evening, and I pulled up to a stop sign. There was a sharp curve right before the street I was exiting from, so it was difficult to judge whether there was any oncoming traffic or not.
I looked and listened, and didn’t see or hear any vehicles approaching, so I pulled out. Suddenly there was a bright red convertible sportscar right behind me, with a young man at the wheel. He had obviously been traveling pretty fast and was forced to slow down quickly when he came around the curve and saw me there.
He must have been in a hurry because he began acting like I had so many times before – riding close to my bumper, revving his engine and encouraging me to either hurry up or get out of the way. For one split second I was very tempted to step on the gas and drive fast like I was so used to doing. But I remembered my lessons from the weeks before, so I resisted the temptation to drive fast, as difficult as it was.
We were driving through a quiet residential area on a narrow, winding road, and this young man was obviously very annoyed with me, as I had been with other drivers so many times. But I resolutely drove at a reasonable pace, determined to ignore him.
We came around another sharp curve and up over a rise, and suddenly there, right in front of my car were two young children on bicycles in the middle of the street. I had to brake hard and swerve in order to avoid them, and the young man behind me did the same.
In that moment, I knew why I had been encouraged to slow down time and time again over the preceding weeks. All of it came flashing back and hit me so powerfully that I started crying and shaking. There was no doubt in my mind that I would have run those children down had I been traveling at a high rate of speed. I wouldn’t have had time to avoid them if I had been driving any faster.
And what of the young man behind me? What if I hadn’t pulled out in front of him and forced him to slow down too? He likely would have hit them himself.
He seemed to realize the gravity of what had almost happened, because he slowed down considerably after that and backed off of my bumper. I drove another mile or so before I had to pull over because I couldn’t see through my tears.
I truly believe in my heart that God used me to protect those children, and I was so humbled and stunned by that. What if I hadn’t listened? What if I had been stubborn and continued to drive fast? I shudder to think of the consequences.
After that, the “driving lessons” seemed to stop. I didn’t end up behind any slow drivers again. And yes, I still continue to drive slower, even now, ten years later.
My point in telling this story is that so often we don’t listen. Our spiritual guides and angels are communicating with us on a daily basis. Their job is to help us, guide us and comfort us, but they can only do so much. They cannot interfere with our free will. If we are stubborn, if we refuse to listen and accept their help, they can only watch painfully as we make mistake after mistake.
Take time to listen.
If something keeps happening to you over and over again, it’s a sure bet that there is a message for you in those experiences. Spend some quiet time in prayer, and ask questions.
So many people feel that God is too busy or distant for us to ask questions. Too many people think they need to keep their doubt and fears to themselves. Not so. God wants to hear from us. Our spiritual guides and angels want to hear from us. They want to help us. Let them.
Watch for the signs. Pay attention to those little “coincidences” in your life. There are hidden messages in them. If you are unsure of the message, take some time to pray about it or think more deeply about it. The answer is there if you are willing to look and listen.
So, what about you? Have you refused to listen to divine guidance in your life? Or have you had an experience like mine when you did listen and something amazing happened?
I know I’m not the only one who has things like this happen to them. I believe that by becoming aware of these experiences and sharing them, we can help others become aware too and live fuller lives.
Finally, don’t ever doubt that your life has meaning. You have no idea how important your role here is. You may not ever be fully aware of the ways in which you’ve impacted others’ lives, or you may have moments like mine where it becomes all too clear.
You can be sure that you affect the people around you profoundly, even when you don’t intend to. Trust that, and do what you can to listen when you feel you are being guided in a certain direction. There is probably a very good reason for it.
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