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Friday, December 9, 2011

Wow, can't believe it's been so long since I've posted here. Well, I've been wandering. What I love about wandering is finding new things, finding new things about old things, and challenging the way I think about all things. I like to challenge what I think I know about what I know to find what I don't know I need to know. Cool, huh? What's really cool is that it's all tied together. We are each the culmination of our history. The history of our parents and families, and the history of our decisions. Each decision we make is a little more history. I find it amazing that sometimes what seems like a little decision at the time may make a big difference over time. Each and every decision has a lasting effect. A lifetime effect. It is your history.

So, how do you want your history to read?

Decisions are points where honesty, truth, and listening converge. You have to be honest with yourself, search for truth, and listen for guidance. It can be there, even in the smallest decisions.

Have you ever paid attention to that little voice that seems to be deep in the back of your head that seems to speak at critical decision points? I've learned to listen to that voice. And the learning curve has been steep for me. It comes with the wandering bent I have. I've also learned the it's there all the time, not just at critical decision points, if you practice listening for it.

Last night, Laura was telling me about an incident regarding a project she was working on and said: "I've got to learn to listen to myself. That little voice told me I should think about adding ... to this project and I didn't. Today (a colleague) came around and said 'has ... signed off on this? I think they should be the ones to study this and set the rules. I'm suggesting that in my comments.' and that was exactly what I thought when I first started (the project)." Well, now her colleague will get the credit for the idea and the addition, though that doesn't matter much to Laura. She doesn't care much about who gets the credit as long as the best work possible gets done.

But my response was, "That little voice isn't yours. It's the Holy Spirit and yes, you should listen to it." Yes, I'm Christian and I really hope you could tell that before I told you, but that is another blog post. Today I want to dwell on the rest of what I learned when this comment sparked my wandering.

It first took me to 1Kings 19 where Elijah took to the hills to hide from Ahab and Jezebel, the king and queen of Israel, after he had killed their prophets of Baal. It didn't make them fans and they were out to kill him. He made it to Horeb, the mount of God, where he and God were working things out when God told him, "Stand up on the mount" and God passed by. Now here's the good part. When God passed by there was a strong wind that broke the rocks, but God wasn't in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but God wasn't in the fire. After the fire there was a still, small voice. It's not the chaos, confusion, loud, boisterous, rock throwing windbag that should concern you; what is the still, small voice saying?

Yep, that same still, small voice that we each hear at decision time, if we will choose to listen for it. I then had the opportunity to learn more at church. Yesterday was a Holy Day of Obligation, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and at one point during the service when parishioners were moving forward for take part in the Communion, I saw a girl trying to get into the line and that still small voice said, "stop, let her through." But she was indecisive and I was preoccupied and went back to my business. In just a few minutes I realized what I had done, but it was too late. The opportunity had passed and I missed it. And then the voice said, "In obedience is the Blessing." I don't know what that Blessing would have been for that act of kindness. I missed it. I missed the moment but I didn't miss the lesson. That decision left a lasting mark on my history.

I learned.

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