Guidance from the Holy Spirit

There are many ways God chooses to correct His children, I believe this method is personalized perfectly for the recipient.

This is how God clearly illustrated a need for change in my life.

On a Friday in February I was heading up the hill, a four mile loop that I consider “my special place” to leave the World behind. My new I-Pod that I had recently received for Christmas was loaded with my favorite music, Blues/Classic Rock. A song that I’d heard many times before started to play (Tightrope by Stevie Ray Vaughan) but this time it was different. It wasn’t only the earphones that allowed me to distinguish with perfect clarity every lyric and note but there was a change of heart and sprit that was undeniable that day.

The issue had started some 6 years earlier with the very first meeting of our new “Alcoa Micromill’s” boss. I can’t remember when a first impression had made such a negative impact on me. I recall trying to shake it off and telling myself “you can’t tell a book by its cover” and other pearls of wisdoms that proved to be to the contrary. Unfortunately over the years and many dealings this person he proved to be the most egotistical, cast system oriented, corporate bully, and academic snob that I had ever met. To make thing’s worse after a period of time I viewed him as a Technological Mr. Magoo with absolutely no right to boast! This opinion was upheld by 99% of my colleagues throughout Alcoa and served to validate my disdain.

Meanwhile back on the trail my epiphany was unfolding. The lyrics

”Afraid of my own shadow in the face of grace
Heart full of darkness spotlight on my face
There was love all around me but I was lookin' for revenge
Thank God it never found me would have been the end.”

This took about a millisecond to equivocate God’s grace for me and blackness that was residing in my own heart. I’ve never felt a more complex set of emotions, Guilt, Anger, Forgiveness and relief all at the same instant. By the time I got down the Hill I had been forgiven, I had forgiven this man for the way he acted and treated me (Forgive them Father for they know not what they do), and had a permanent change of Heart. I also knew this life lesson didn’t apply to one individual but to all Men and how to mirrors God’s love. As soon as I got home I looked it up the song, printed it and showed it to Naomi and told her what had happened. She asked me, is this was a Christian song? Well I don’t know if it was written in that sprit but I do know God can use all things to his Glory.

The story doesn’t end here… the very next day I was heading up the hill, still spinning from the previous day’s revelations. I contemplating how I could witness this to my secular friends and what rationalizing by them would take place to justify this prolific change of heart. I began to wonder if it wasn’t a comment in Bible study or snippet of Pastor Dan’s sermon the Sunday before that triggered all this, when simultaneously a Joe Walsh song was proclaiming

“I know where you're goin'
I don't think that's actin' right
You don't think it's showin'

Don't misunderstand me
You don't think that I know your plan
What you try'n'-a hand me?

I know what you're doin'
If you're gonna act that way
I think there's trouble brewin'”

Well that pretty much freaked me out! And I began to pray for forgiveness in doubting the author of this personalized life lesson. In the middle of my prayer and the very next song The Doobie Brothers rang out “Jesus is just alright”

“I don't care what they may say
I don't care what they may do
I don't care what they may say
Jesus is just alright, oh yeah”

I have 8.5 hrs of music on this i-pod and I think the name Jesus is only on one song! Coincidental, I don’t think so! I elected not to go up the hill the next day!

About six weeks after my change of heart the manager who had been in control for 7 years and the person that I had all the contempt for was removed for a leadership position at Reno. Coincidental, I don’t think so!

June 2006

Matthew 5:43-45

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Tightrope by Stevie Ray Vaughan

Caught up in a whirlwind can't catch my breath
Knee deep in hot water broke out in a cold sweat
Can't catch a turtle in this rat race
Feels like I'm losin' time at a breakneck pace

Afraid of my own shadow in the face of grace
Heart full of darkness spotlight on my face
There was love all around me but I was lookin' for revenge
Thank God it never found me would have been the end

(I was) walkin' the tightrope steppin' on my friends
Walkin' the tightrope (it) was a shame and a sin
Walkin' the tightrope between wrong and right
Walkin' the tightrope both day and night

Lookin' back in front of me in the mirror's a grin
Through eyes of love I see I'm really lookin' at a friend
We've all had our problems that's the way life is
My heart goes out to others who are there to make amends

We've been walkin' the tightrope tryin' to make it right
Walkin' the tightrope every day and every night
Walkin' the tightrope bring it all around
Walkin' the tightrope from the lost to found

Walkin' the tightrope stretched around the world
Walkin' the tightrope save the boys and girls
Walkin' the tightrope let's make it right
Walkin' the tightrope do it do it tonight
Walkin' the tightrope

E-mail: barry

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