Tell your story about giving and inspire others to live generously.

I Like Listening.

Submitted by Kurt Wilson (Grand Rapids, MI)

Listening to an inner-prompting to give helped me realize a more direct path toward meaningful work.

I had lost my job several months before, and was in a very difficult place spiritually. The economy at the time was doing well and I had a great resume and network, but had been turned down for about 20 jobs in a row. My big problem wasn’t financial – between some cuts in our expenses and handyman work for my grandfather, we were doing fine. My big problem wasn’t relational or self-esteem – my wife and family were supportive and encouraging in dimensions I didn’t even know existed. My big problem was spiritual. I wanted to use my life for something significant, something big and meaningful, and every door I thought I was led to just closed in my face.

During that time, I would often walk on a bike path by a stream, and pray and cry and think and do everything I could to find a path forward. Many times I had felt I’d found an answer, felt the surge of excitement, only to discover it was another dead end. It was a roller coaster of emotional pain and spiritual confusion. Because of that, I was very skeptical when one day I felt I heard in prayer, “you’re going to get a job today.” I pushed the thought aside as wishful thinking and set out on my walk. SO@50

The bike path was in a nice suburb far from downtown, so I was surprised to see a homeless man sleeping by the stream. As I kept walking and praying, I felt I heard God say, “Buy that man breakfast.” I initially ignored it…how could I know it was God and not my own mistaken projection? I ultimately decided it didn’t matter…it was a good idea anyway, so I bought an Egg McMuffin, orange juice and hash browns. When I walked down the bank to deliver it to him, I startled him out of a sleep…but he soon understood what I was giving and thanked me. As I stood up to go, I told him that he shouldn’t really thank me, he should thank God…because God sent me to buy his breakfast.

As I continued my walk I remembered the thought about ‘you’re going to get a job today’ …and as the tears dripped off my chin, I realized I just did. In a more direct way than ever, I had just worked for God…not the big deal job that I was looking for or wanting, but what could be more significant or meaningful? I’m glad I listened that day, and glad for the chance to remember that milestone, because in the momentum of life I often forget, but I still want to be working for God, listening and obeying one day at a time.