Friday, August 04, 2017

Which way now?

I think I must be having a mid-life crisis. Or something. I've been feeling for a while now that I need a change of scenery. I've been praying about it, but my problem is that I don't really trust myself to hear God correctly.

Why? Well, that's a long story.  Let's just say that once upon a time I thought I heard God tell me something really, really, super big, and lots of people agreed with me. Several months down the line though, I found out I had heard wrong ... or maybe I just got the timing wrong ... or maybe the point was for me to walk the road but it had never been God's intention for me to reach the destination. Whatever the reason, not reaching the destination nearly killed me (metaphorically speaking, that is). So now I don't trust that I can hear God correctly.

Which is a big bummer, because I (along with all followers of the Way) am called to a life of faith. That means regularly talking and listening to God, hearing from Him where to go and what to do or say, and then doing/ saying that.

But back to my story. I've been praying and trying to listen, but I'm not sure that what I'm hearing is from God.  It could just be my heart's voice, telling me what I want to hear.

Anyway, I decided to push on the door, as they say, to test the waters... Maybe find some new scenery. Not just one door either - three doors. I am hoping that two of them won't open, leaving one which (I hoped) is the one I am supposed to walk through.

But, whether it is Murphy's Law, or God at work, or just that phenomenon that when you have made a decision you suddenly have second thoughts, I suddenly find myself feeling that I love my current scenery and don't want to leave. My emotions are so fickle!

There's that kid suffering with depression who has connected with me, and that other kid who treats me as her mother, or that other kid who just loves me and showers me with tokens of appreciation, or that other kid that I think I've finally got through to, or that class that I've finally won over, or that other class I have such fun with, or that staff member I love connecting with, or those incredibly talented kids who make me so proud when they choose to shine... there are lots of reasons to love my current scenery.

But there are reasons to leave too... I don't want to go into them here, but they are pretty heavy. On bad days, they are all I see.

So how do I really discern what God is saying? Should I stay, or go? How do I remove my fickle emotions from the equation and just listen to God? How can I be sure about which way to go?

I'm praying that once I've pushed on all 3 doors one will swing wide open, while the other 2 will stay closed. I'm hoping it will be that obvious.

I want to make the best decision here, not for me, but for God's kingdom. I want to get the direction right. Everything else is just details.

But there's this annoying small voice in my head telling me that, probably, this time God expects me to listen to the subtle, still voice and trust that I'm hearing right. Scary stuff!! What if I get it wrong again? I don't want to miss God's best because I made the wrong choice.

I wish I had a fleece to throw outside overnight... you know... a bargaining tool with God, to test the waters. (Oh wait.. actually, I have two!! Dare I use one in that way???)

It's pointless asking for people's opinions, because sometimes God asks us to do the most seemingly ridiculous thing (like God becoming human - who would ever have predicted that?), the thing everyone warns us against (like Jesus going to Jerusalem when his disciples told him he would die if he went), or the thing we really don't want to (like Jesus asking the Father to give him a way out from the cross).

That's what I would love. I would love for someone else to just tell me what to do. That would be the easy way. But since when does God ever take the easy option? The wide road leads to death. The narrow road leads to life.

So here I am again... in a place of humbly waiting on God. Which I guess is the whole point. Which way now? I still don't know, but I'm trusting that God does, and that in his time he will tell me.

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