I led our “Core” group (4th & 5th graders) last Sunday and our lesson was on listening to God. That is a tough concept for kids because as adults we have a better grasp of what this means (well, some of us do), but kids can only imagine God “speaking” to them as literally “SPEAKING” to them. I had to break the news that God doesn’t dial you up on the “clue phone” or text you to let you know the direction he wants you to go or the decision he wants you to make. Sometimes, you have to pay attention to the signs, to the subtle ways in which God is guiding you. That is hard to do for a kid, and can be very hard for us adults too.
We played a game where two kids sat back to back with an identical set of multi-shaped blocks in front of them. One kid had to make a design with their blocks and then give verbal instructions to the other kid as to how to design that very same set of blocks. We did this with every kid, everyone getting a turn, and no pair actually got it right. We talked for a while about how we need to LISTEN to God, and yet even when we listen (or think we’re listening) we don’t hear the right thing. And, sometimes that “not right” thing is our own wants and wishes getting in the mix. Sometimes, what God wants us to do is not necessarily what we want to do, so our “wants/needs” supersede what God is trying to say to us.
I’ve been dealing with that a lot myself lately. I’ve tried to take time every day to experience God and what God may be saying to me. I have always been a person who pays attention to signs from God, to God’s answer to my question. Usually I know the direction God is leading me based on how the pieces of the puzzle come together – how smoothly paved the path tends to be. When tons of roadblocks come up or I find myself struggling to go down a particular path, I know in my heart that God is telling me to slow down, back up, turn around. Now, I’m not saying that the hard road is not the right road, by any means! I had a hard path to choose last year and it was REALLY HARD, but once I was on it, God gave me the strength to endure it and the road became smoothly paved with time.
I’m rambling a bit, but I needed to get this out because it has been amazing to me how God speaks to me – through others, through events, through my feelings. Every day I pray that I’m always open to God’s voice – open to God’s guidance. And, as tough as it is to sort through things to make sure that I’m on God’s path and not my own, I have to believe that I’m where I need to be, serving where I need to serve. But, oh how nice it would be to have that call on the clue phone . . . . oh how nice it would be!