A Pizza Box Message

One day, we stopped and got pizza. As the worker rumors rang us up, a thought came: “Why don’t you open one of the boxes and check.” And let the worker think that I thought he was incompetent? I just couldn’t.

I walked to my car: “Open the box and check.” And fiddle with the tabs while trying to hold the box? Again, I couldn’t. I opened the car door: “Put the boxes on the seat and open it.” No, it will get cold.

Can you guess what happened when I got home?  Yes, they got both orders wrong, and we had to take them back because I was allergic to one of the ingredients. If I had followed even the last prompting, we could have accomplished everything we needed to do that day. Instead, we were delayed. I ended up going to bed late. And the next day, I was exhausted from letting my blood sugar drop that low.

Why am I sharing this simple story? Often we get thoughts to do something. And the consequences of not following them don’t always show up for weeks, months or even years later, but in this situation the consequences were immediate, clear and direct, and a great example for gleaning basic principles, I think.

Why didn’t I just do it? But random thoughts come all the time. How can we know if we should follow a thought?

Some ideas come to mind. Obviously we shouldn’t act on unkind thoughts to ourselves or anyone else. But since there was nothing inherently bad about opening a pizza box, and it could have been done easily (even though I didn’t think so at the time), I should have followed this prompting, right?

What other signs did I have? My first thought came as a suggestion. But then it got stronger, more like a command when I didn’t follow. Could that be another sign? That this thought just kept nagging at me when I said no already?

Somewhere during that time, I had played out the scenario of what if I went home, and the order was wrong. Not a big deal. I still would have eaten it. But I never anticipated that I would be allergic to it. Hence the reason why the prompting probably came in the first place. It wasn’t something I could have foreseen logically.

With that being said, what thoughts have come recently to you? How often have they come? Can you put aside your fears, your unbelief, and follow them? Honing in on this ability to listen and to act is crucial. For unlike my pizza box experience, some of our thoughts could be life-changing or life-saving. Could it be in our best interest to learn how inspiration comes to us?

How do you know when to follow a thought? I’d love to know your thoughts on that. Let me know.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Tnoa says:

    It is so wonderful to get feedback like these. Thank you so much for your kind message. As our world get more complicated and unpredictable, we’ll need to rely heavily on this still small voice. It’s interesting that our logic and book learning will only get us so far.

  2. Tnoa says:

    Oh Alice, you’re so good with coming to the heart of an issue. I love your insights.

  3. So true Top! Our sixth sense nudges us, but alas we ignore it. And, as you’ve excellently expressed, it can lead to potentially disastrous consequences. Your article is a great reminder to pay attention to that “still small voice” God has endowed us with.

  4. alicegristle says:

    Gut feelings! My favourite topic! 😀 To start with, yeah, I sympathise with you, listening to and obeying gut feelings can be super hard, because… I don’t know what for, but it seems like we’re almost wired to suppress actions that could lead to social shame. Like you opening that pizza box? Inconvenient and awkward for the delivery person! It feels unfair to me, sometimes, that our stupid social reflexes should override our smart gut feelings so often. (Then again, I do realise that our social reflexes keep our societies mostly in working order from day to day…)

    As for how to listen to your gut feelings more often, I’ve no idea, I’m afraid. 😀 Maybe just make a note every time that voice pipes up, and try to work out where it came from? I’ve been told that gut feelings are not infallible, just near enough, so obeying them should be standard practice… Stick to it and grow more confident in listening to yourself?

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