I went to a church service the other week and the worship leader said something about truth. That no matter how pure our intentions are, if we are following or believing the wrong truth we are still off the path of righteousness. There is a difference between truth (little t) and Truth (big T).
There is the truth that you believe to be true and then there is the real honest truth. Sometimes these are the same thing. Other times emotions or experiences can skew what we see as the truth. We are at a disadvantage because it’s almost impossible to see things crystal clear … because we are human.
There is also a difference between the help you receive from a self-help book and the help that the Holy Spirit can offer you. Now I don’t care if you believe in God or not … I think we can all agree that we have a consciousnesses – the part of you that can tell from right and wrong. The little alarm that goes off in your head when something just isn’t write. The voice in your head that you debate with when making choices. It’s that voice or power that can lead us to the Truth.
When we are faced with difficulty or hard decisions to make, it can be hard to know what is good advice and what isn’t. I’ve been spending so much time gathering information, it’s time for me to center myself. Start listening to my inner voice rather than what the self-help book instructs me to do. I don’t need any more exercises or instruction – I need prayer. I need quiet to think and to meditate. My heart knows the answer – it’s just a matter of sitting still long enough to hear it.
Recently my dad both convicted me on one of his observations and gave me a great piece of advice. He called me out on gathering almost too much information – asking for everyone’s advice and thoughts on what I should do. Reading blogs, watching tv specials, finding the right kinds of devotionals to read. He told me to just stop and listen. Listen to what my little Jiminy Cricket is telling me. Listen to the beat of my own heart.
He was 100% right. I felt inadequate to make my own choices. I felt inexperienced and too close to the issue to see clearly. I was trying to gain perspective, but instead I started using other people’s thoughts as my crutch or my scape goat from really facing the music. My dad knows me pretty well and he knows that I use my driving time as my calling time. When my seat belt gets buckles, I am dialing up a friend or someone to talk to along my journey. He said don’t. Rather, listen to two songs – just listen, think, let go. Let your mind settle so you can actually hear your own thoughts and feelings. After the two songs are done, if you still feel the need to call someone, then do so. But if you never give yourself the opportunity to listen yourself – you’ll never hear it. And all these years of paying for therapy I could have just talked to my dad for free 🙂 Thanks for the advice Dad – I’ve been trying it out and so far, it’s been working!
So – I need to stop and slow down. Carve out time during my day for just my own thoughts. Keeping busy is an ok coping mechanism for the short term, but eventually it’s going to catch up to you. Even if it’s not something that I want to feel – I’ve got to. The upcoming decisions might be really really hard, but I’m not doing myself any favors on making them solely based on everyone else’s thoughts (and that includes self-help books). God is speaking to me – it’s just a matter if I’m willing to sit still long enough to listen.