Different Types of Hunches · 22 January 2011

My friend, Tim, has a Frank Capra quote posted outside his door at school that says, “A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.” Mr. Capra was a director well known for the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, so I take his words to heart being a somewhat creative person myself. Some funny man also said a hunch could be the corned beef (or something he ate). And I know that sometimes the hunch is God giving us a little tap on the shoulder. Personally, I have had all three of the different types of hunches. And they all inspire different actions or reactions.

The hunch that comes from eating usually just tells me that I ate too much. That old jingle “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz” comes to mind when I get this kind of inspiration. Or indigestion. Or indignation is probably what I really feel. Indignation at myself that I did not have enough self-control to just eat what I needed rather than stuffing myself with all the good food put before me. Still, regardless of how often I get this type of hunch, it is usually too late. I should get the hunch to stop eating rather than get the message that I ate too much when I am already rolling around the house like Violet after she chewed the dinner-flavored gum in the old movie, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Like most people, I do not much like the hunches that come from food.

I like the hunches that turn out to be creativity much more than the rumblings in my stomach. However, hunches that turn out to be creative pieces of writing are sometimes few and far between. Still, even though not every piece I write and put out to the world is a truly inspired piece of literature, I do get creative hunches. To be sure, the more I write, the better shot I have of putting out something that may be funny or inspiring or thought provoking. And like the old baseball adage goes, I have an infinitely better chance of getting a hit when I step up to the plate and swing than when I do not even get up to bat. So even though I am not always inspired when I sit down to write, I know that I will get a gold nugget every once in a while just by going through the writing process and shipping something every week.

While I love to be inspired by creativity, I do not always like to get the last type of hunch. When God speaks to me, it is often a request to do a job. Not always a pleasant job either. I have resisted talking to people at God’s request. I have not always done what He wants when He wants. I have not always followed His hunches, especially when they have to do with talking to somebody I do not like. Or worse yet, to somebody I do. Unfortunately, His hunches are always insistent and cannot be ignored. At least not without great peril. Or some story with a moral or lesson.

Lee Trevino once said, “If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a one-iron. Not even God can hit a one-iron.” While the quip is funny, I think God is a much better shot than that. My wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, and I like to kid each other about not sitting too close to one another when we say silly stuff that we imagine God might strike us for. But she says that He is a much better shot than Mr. Trevino thinks and could get her without getting me (or vice versa) regardless of how close we are to one another. Thankfully, not all the God hunches carry such dire consequences when we miss or ignore them.

Recently, we went to The Lights of Christmas in Stanwood. The Warm Beach Christian Camps and Conference Center facility was all lit up with beautiful murals and displays all created with Christmas lights. We had a great time with friends and family just walking around enjoying the scenery.

The God hunch came before we even went into the place, but the guilt of ignoring it did not come until later. Fortunately, it did not keep us from enjoying our time together.

As we were walking up to meet our friends at the entrance, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi found a five dollar bill. She was hooting it up and lauding her luck and waving it around like a little flag. She almost dropped it by being silly so she gave it to me for safe keeping. About that time, a couple of girls walked by going the other way. They might have been looking for something, but we were all just enjoying ourselves and The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi’s good fortune too much to really notice. The hunch was quiet, but said that I should ask the two young ladies if they had lost something. If I had listened and gone back a couple steps down the path right away, I probably could have asked, but I just kept enjoying the company of everybody in our group and we continued walking toward the entrance.

When we met up with the rest of our group, my wife wondered aloud whether those two girls had lost the money. Immediately, I felt bad that I had not listened to my hunch, but when I looked, the girls were not to be seen on the path or anywhere near. I knew I had missed a God hunch. Even so, we enjoyed the lights immensely without any guilt about the found money.

The next day at church, we put the money into the offering, but both The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi and I felt a little guilty that we did not at least ask the girls if they had lost something. We will probably never know if they did, but the experience showed me the truth about hunches. Again.

I believe that every hunch is due to food, creativity, or God, so I try to listen. In the case of food, I try to remember the message the next time tons of good food is spread before me rather than after it is too late. In the case of creativity, I try to write down what the hunch told me. In the case of God, I try to act immediately. In many cases of all the types of hunches, I get a story out of the deal. And in some cases, the story is even better when I do not listen very well. (But I still try to listen better the next time.)

I am glad that I get to see Mr. Capra’s words of wisdom each day outside my friend’s door at school. For they remind me that whether a hunch is due to food, creativity, or God, I ought to listen. And then act on it.

© 2011 Michael T. Miyoshi

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