A friend of mine named Lisa (or zeph317) shared my birthday verse with me on my birthday a few days ago (May 18th.) from birthverse.com ...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
It got me to thinking about 518...
I used to travel like 60% for work and there were some years everything seemed so rushed. One week I was working at a business in PA. Now when you were sent out to do training like this, they could basically determine your schedule, most places would have you teaching class from 8 am-10 pm. But this PA bank, they were all about going home on time- they didnt have me scheduled past 430 and the place was deserted at by 445. I mean empty. It was wierd but I thought, ok...huh, great, an easy week, write this one down for the memory books....I'll actually go relax a bit and eat dinner at a decent hour. So I left, got lost on the way back to the hotel - because none of the streets there were in anything close to a grid- they were twisty, windy, one-way funky streets. Well I finally found my hotel and went into my hotel room. Now this hotel had the weirdest alarm clocks I've ever seen. All I can say is they were for the sight challenged. I mean the red numbers were literally like 3-4 inches high- just huge red numbers and when I walked in, there it was staring me in the face and it was 5:18. I thought, huh, that's interesting, 518, my birthday.
The second night it was much the same except I got lost going on other streets and had to find a different way to the hotel. Let me mention there was tons of traffic each night. When I walked into the room that second night, there again was the clock with 5:18 right in front of me. I thought - man that's wierd, what are odds of that? ... Then I changed into some jeans and left for dinner.
The third night some people stayed asking questions and I again took quite by accident a third route to the hotel. This night I walked into the room and there was that clock again saying 5:18 --
ok now I knew this what not a coincidence.
I'm a little slow but you can get through to me eventually, if you just keep trying.... I said Lord... what is going on.... with the 5:18's? I very strongly felt His presence and felt Him say I've been trying to get your attention....because I've been wanting to remind you how much I love you.... Wow, that brought me to my knees. I was suddenly ashamed to wonder- how long had it been since I'd actually told God that I loved Him? oh my gosh... way too long. Things were just moving so fast at that time....I was even in the job I believed God wanted me in. I was on the road a lot but I went to church whenever I was home...I loved the Lord, I was a Christian, I tried to read something out of my Bible most every day, said a few quick prayers every morning and evening, I thought I was doing fine in my Christian walk.....and yet I had to suddenly realize it had been quite some time since I had truly connected with God in a real, an intimate, and loving way. I did love Him but my busyness was getting in the way of spending real quality time with Him.
That week was a wake up call to not let myself just go through the motions of living the Christian life (doing the right things) and miss the whole point - an intimate relationship with God. Honestly, I still find myself blind-sided by busyness at times, but... I'd like to think I've learned to recognize God's coincidences more and ...I like to think I hear His whispers more readily now...and that He doesnt have to use a 4 inch tall red glowing numbered alarm clock saying 518 to get my attention ;) That was many years ago and there have been several times since then when I've been having a hard day and God will start popping 518s into my day. I dont wonder at the coincidence anymore... I recognize it, thank Him, and tell Him I love Him too. Well there you have it... my 518 story. in a nutshell, love Him... and dont let life's busyness keep you from spending quality time with Him :)