We've heard it said, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." In my case, one particular day, another man's Taco Bell trash became a heaven-sent life lesson for me in hearing God speak to me.
Our then-young sons were playing on a city basketball league. One particular day we drove into the parking lot super close to practice start-time, so I told the boys to run ahead to catch up with the team and I would follow.
As I walked from the parking lot through the park, along the sidewalk, I noticed someone had thrown Taco Bell trash down or perhaps the wind had carried it through the park. Either way, I passed on by it and was a couple of feet away, when I heard, "Pick it up." At first, I shrugged off the thought, but then I heard the command clearly again, "Pick it up!" I quickly realized it was the Lord speaking to me. I thought it odd, but, immediately responded, "Lord, they pay people to do that!" My thinking was how ridiculous the idea that the Lord of the universe would direct me to pick up trash, let alone, someone else's trash or that He would even care about that. Picking up trash wasn't on my agenda that day, but getting to our sons' practice was. By that time, I was approximately four feet past the trash that laid on the ground, when an immediate "light bulb" turn on in my understanding and I said, "Oh! I'm not going to miss THIS blessing!" You see, there is blessing in obedience. My eyes teared up that I almost missed passing His test to me that day. It was both a test of hearing His voice and a test of obedience.
The Lord has such a distinct sense of humor. He, too, has a way of humbling us and teaching us in the most seemingly nonsensical ways. I felt such satisfaction after I picked up the trash that day and threw it into the nearest trash can.
I have to say, after that I could be anywhere in public and would on occasion hear Him say, "Pick it up," or, "Clean it up," when I would be out somewhere and someone had left behind a mess. After my Taco Bell trash in the park experience, I knew each time following that He was testing me. He let me know that if I was willing to serve Him and others even in the small, insignificant things, that He would promote me, because I, not only heard, but obeyed His voice.
Be watchful for His promptings and tests. He wants to promote you. Are you willing to walk it out in obedience?