The thoughts, reflections and musings of an average Church of England Priest
Wednesday, 4 March 2015
40 Acts THE NUDGE
"This was totally spontaneous, entirely their own idea, and caught us completely off guard. What explains it was that they had first given themselves unreservedly to God and to us. The other giving simply flowed out of the purposes of God working in their lives." 2 Corinthians 8: 5 (The Message)
I want to tell you about something called The Nudge.
The Nudge is that inner impression you get . . . a sense that says, I need to move from awareness to action. I need to engage. It could mean helping someone with a broken-down car. It could be helping lift a bag into the overhead compartment on the airplane. It could even be buying something for someone. The Nudge is when you see a need and you make something happen.
If you follow it, The Nudge will take you places you never thought you’d go. You’ll end up experiencing things you never thought you’d experience – all because you followed a prompting.
One of my favourite stories about The Nudge tells of a woman who’d been out of work for quite some time when she finally got a job. But her excitement didn’t last long. Just three days into it, she was depressed and still very low on funds. She wouldn’t get her first pay until she’d worked two weeks, yet she was close to being evicted from her apartment and worried about providing for her son. She had to get him to school, but she couldn’t even afford the bus fare.
As she prepared to cross the street one day to go to work, a car pulled up in front of her. The window rolled down and the man in the car leaned over and said, ‘Ma’am, do you ride the bus?’
The woman said, ‘Yes, but today I can’t afford bus fare.’
The man held up a laminated card and said, ‘I woke up this morning with a strong impression that I should go buy this annual bus pass. I’ve never ridden the bus, and I’ve never bought a bus pass before. This must be for you. Have a nice day.’ Then he handed her the bus pass and drove away.
The woman broke down in tears.
God uses all of us – our intellect, our emotions and our gut instincts. That day, a complete stranger followed a nudge that led him to provide hope for someone who desperately needed help. The instinct that says, I need to do something. I’ve found that the more you follow The Nudge, the more ready you’ll be to identify it in the future, and the more inclined you’ll feel to engage it. When you do, you won’t believe where God will take you.