Moments make a life.
They happen to you, all day, every day. In fact, you have too many to count!
But some moments matter more than others.
These are moments that spark something in you. Moments that draw your attention to things you really love. Moments that cause you to look up with a new sense of expectation.
These moments may feel like a nudge, but they’re really so much more.
Don’t worry if you haven’t noticed any nudges lately.
When you’re humming along, getting stuff done, a nudge can be easily missed or quickly dismissed. Good things are happening, so why rock the boat with ideas that don’t necessarily fit the flow of your current success, right?
But nudges are worth noting.
A nudge usually means something more than you may realize in the moment.
It may start as a push or pull that piques your interest. It may cause you to consider an overlooked course of action or think more about your current direction.
A nudge, in any form, is likely to leave you with a lingering excitement. A returning curiosity. It keeps you coming back to a moment, idea or conversation. Each time you return or encounter another nudge in this direction, your sense of wonder expands, as does the possibility of what could be.
You may be nudged with a word of encouragement from someone you admire — a mentor, colleague, boss, or pastor. You may receive an invitation introducing you to a cause or opportunity that opens your heart in unexpected ways. A nudge moment may come through a scene in a movie or as you listen to a TED Talk.
A nudge is often subtle. But sometimes it’s not.
The story of Elisha in 1 Kings 19 recounts a not-so-subtle nudge moment. Here’s our paraphrase of what happened.
Elijah is the well-known prophet in his day. He hears from God to anoint Elisha as his successor. He obeys.
Elijah finds Elisha plowing the fields behind 12 oxen (a sign Elisha knows success). As Elijah passes by, he tosses his cloak on Elisha.
Elisha looks up and knows he must choose: catch the cloak and follow Elijah, or stay plowing in his current success.
Elisha catches the cloak, and everything begins to change.
He burns his plows, barbeques the oxen, feeds the people, says goodbye to his parents, and leaves to follow and serve Elijah.
Then, one step at a time, Elisha starts down a path that will take him places he never knew possible, and into a destiny remembered for all eternity.
When the cloak lands on Elisha, he knew: this moment matters. He had a choice to make. He could accept the cloak with all of its unknowns, or he could stay in his current and familiar field of success.
This was Elisha’s nudge moment.
When we think about this moment for Elisha, we wonder if a close natural parallel might be Jeff Bezos, creator of Amazon, selecting us to be his successor. Us. Plowing our field of success. Nudged to step into something totally different — to follow and succeed someone of world-changing status. Us. Given the choice to step into an uncontested position that will rock our world and the world as we know it. No interview. Guaranteed outcomes. And a double bonus, just for going where Jeff goes.
It sounds ridiculous, right? Go ahead. We laughed too!
And yet, what happened with Elisha is meant to remind us that we don’t get to define our nudge moments. God does. It may be subtle or simply ridiculous. It’s not how the nudge is delivered. This will be different for everyone. It’s whether or not we notice and respond.
Elisha’s two simple decisions — to look up and to set down — shifted his attention and began moving him toward a destiny outside the boundaries of his known success.
I (Kisha) remember one of my earliest nudge moments like it was yesterday.
I was six. Success was measured in good grades and good behavior. I was top of my class in both!
My neighbor, Mrs. Erlina — a petite, Filiopino woman with long black hair — used to spend time with me. She would teach me how to sew. She also taught me how to make fire with a magnifying glass!
My time with her was spent doing wonderful things and eating the most amazing lumpia you've ever tasted. To my six-year-old mind, Mrs. Erlina was an amazing wife, mother and friend. But she always seemed sad, and it made me sad to see her so sad.
Deep inside I knew there was more to her, so why wasn’t she living like it?
As a six-year-old, I started thinking: shouldn’t every woman have the chance to do what God created her to do? I was six! Even then I knew in my heart this was important and I was going to help make it happen for as many women as possible.
I lived with this fire for much of my young life. But after college, the invitation to join Corporate America was too appealing, especially with student loans to pay. I set aside the nudge and chose a different path.
But my time with Mrs. Erlina stayed deep within me.
So did my six-year-old dream.
I may have buried it under all the things money could buy, but the desire to help women live their God-given destiny kept finding its way out. My six-year-old dream was rekindled decades later as a small group leader and mentor to several women.
Today, I’m listening carefully to the nudges that move me in the direction of my life-long passion.
And so can you.
Nudge moments are God’s way of inviting you — step by step — into His plan for your life. You get to choose how you respond, even to the ones close to your heart but distant from the life you’re currently living.
God’s invitation for you to walk an amazing journey with Him has no expiration date.
He wants you to experience the fullest and most fulfilled life.
Like Kisha, you may remember a dream or desire from childhood. It might be a business idea you’ve been thinking about. Maybe it’s a restlessness that brings you back to a favorite movie and the transformation it represents. It could be an unexpected lunch conversation or observation from a trusted friend that sparks something in your heart.
When you realize the nudge, don’t keep plowing ahead.
Stop and look up.
This is the first step toward listening to your nudge — the first of many steps moving your toward the life God designed for you.
You don’t have to see the entire path ahead. You just have to take the first step.
There’s more life for you to discover... more life for you to live. And in the weeks ahead, we’ll help you notice nudges, ask the right questions, and keep moving one step at a time toward the life God created you to live. Stay tuned!
Until next time… build life well.