POD #22: Your guidance system
I have never really thought about my internal guidance system, but I do not generally trust it. I do trust myself to make sound decisions and to not intentionally place myself in danger. I trust that I will not do anything outside my character. I trust myself to do things that I am good at. However, when it comes to everything else, I often question if I am being led by the right motive. I question if I am being prideful, selfish, or a show-off, all things that I strive hard to stay away from since I fully grasped that the world doesn’t revolve around me.
Since I ask these questions, I often fail to step out when I feel like I should because I don’t want to make things all about me. Instead I find myself, pausing and waiting; often missing the moment of opportunity. I bargain and say things like “if such and such happens than I will know that I am supposed to do that.” Sometimes those things happen and I will step out, other times nothing happens. I will also often wait for someone to ask me to do the specific thing before I step out into it. I reason even if I felt like I should do it before, that if someone asks I am meeting a need, not thinking more highly of myself than I should.
Yesterday, my husband and I had stopped at a store and there was an older lady that came out with a full grocery cart. She wasn’t necessarily elderly or feeble at all, she was just older than me. I felt a prompting that I should walk over and help her load her groceries into the car. I didn’t. I reasoned away the opportunity that she might be offended or that my husband might think I was just showing off “my goodness.”.
Helping the lady with her groceries would not have cost me anything, not even more time. I was just standing there waiting for my husband to smoke his cigarette before we got back on the motorcycle. He was still smoking when she finished loading her groceries, put her cart back, got into her car, and drove away.
Looking back on my life, I realize I don’t regret anything I have done. My actions have made me who I am. Even the poorest of decisions I have made shaped my life for the better as I learn from my mistakes and shortcomings.
Yet, as I look back, there are many regret of things I have not done. Opportunities missed, often never come around again. I let my past self-centeredness stop me from guiding me to step out into good and better things.
I don’t have a solution for learning to trust my guidance center. I say that because I also have the Holy Spirit inside of me. He also offers guidance and direction. Yet, just as I reason with myself, I also reason with Him. The one difference when I question if the voice is coming from Him, I can ask two questions 1) Does what I am hearing line up with what God’s Word says in the Bible? 2) Does it bring glory and honor to God? These two questions, when answered yes, mean that it is not something contrary to God that is trying to influence my thoughts and actions. I know that because the devil is a liar and he doesn’t want to bring honor to God. I do trust God that He will continue to work in me and through me until His perfect will is done in and through my life.