What does that mean? Well look to the apostles. Did Jesus call the learned, cultured, influential, and wealthy? Nope. Fishermen, sinners, tax collectors, and the like. He knew their hearts would open and hear Him. He taught them and guided them. He did not leave them unchanged. He does the same with me. I am surely in need of His constant guidance. I am earnest and enthusiastic in my determination to hear His voice and obey. I am also well aware that there are times when I think I hear His voice guiding me, but in reality I am only listening to my own voice.
These days I wait a bit before acting on what I think is His voice. I want to be sure that I am discerning correctly. That strategic shift is the result of many years of prayer. Here is what started me on that strategic shift. I was tutoring a student. She had learned her stuff and was well-prepared for her test. I mean she knew it at A+ level. She got a 70. She made dumb mistakes. She couldn’t believe it. We went through the test one problem at a time. I said ‘what happened. what were you thinking about when you did each of these problems you got wrong’? She said “I was hurrying. I was trying to be the first one done and I was trying not to freak out and be scared”. I said “Next time, purposely work slowly. Try to be the last one done with the test. There are no extra points for rushing through. ” And she started doing that. Immediately her scores went up. A month and a half later she was consistently scoring between an 88 and 100 on her tests.
I realized that I need to do the same thing with discerning and acting upon God’s voice. God is patient and steadfast. Each day He qualifies me a bit more. It is a journey. I am learning. God refines me like gold in a furnace…..or sugar in a sugar mill.
ta=dah===here is my sketch of a sugar mill. Nice leap to my sketch, eh?
Wow. I never heard of a sugar mill before. I mean, I am sure there is some place sugar is made, but this looks so old fashioned, I guess there’s a lot of history to it?
I sketched this from a watercolor that i have of this sugar mill. the sugar mill is often found near sugar cane plantations. this one was on st croix, us virgin islands. they processed sugar cane to make sugar and to make rum!
You sure have been around! 😀
We went there for our honeymoon…stayed in a little tiny cottage. Since we got married pretty much all of our traveling has been to visit my family or his—for holidays or for a brief summertime visit. I would love to travel to so many places—-to arkansas for instance :-)—and australia—and chicago—and—and—oh tons of places
When do you have time to travel, these days? You are sure welcome to Arkansas! 🙂
I generally have no time or funds for travel (unless ALL my students are on break at the same time and i have extra cash ;-)…I would love to see you AND Arkansas!! Thank you for the invite, my friend
“These days I wait a bit before acting on what I think is His voice. ”
Such a wonderful reminder! Thank you–I needed this.
you are welcome! I need the reminder, too…sometimes that is why I write the things I do—I need to remind myself, as well! Thanks for the affirming reply
‘There are no extra points for rushing through.’ What terrific advice, Kate! Thanks for that.
And thanks for sharing your lovely sketch and everything about the sugar mill in the us virgin islands.
My student that was rushing really checks things over now. With a lot of hard work and dedication on her part she has developed into a consistent straight A or almost all As with a B or two student. And she is a lovely, warm-hearted gal, too. I have amazing students. I am so blessed. Glad you liked my sugar mill! I spent an inordinate OCD-ish amount of time drawing all of the stones!!
You are getting so amazing at drawing – I need lessons now! And I totally agree with you about God and Jesus… sometimes I think I hear their voice too, speaking through my thoughts and words. Thank you for the sketch! 🙂
Thanks Emily May—-hugs to you today and God’s blessing on your writing.
Amen to that, sister. 🙂
Ahhh, Kate–you’re great! Love the drawing, and really love the reminder to just slow down–wait, even; and that, in any event, God qualifies those whom He calls. Thank goodness, ’cause I’m like–so not ready and able. I’ve just subscribed, to make it easier on my brain to get back here–like, I need bread crumbs!
Thanks, my sister….He qualifies us a bit at a time. He knows if He rushes us before our legs are steady we could get hurt! I’m glad you subscribed….love your input and your blog.
thank you for sharing your insights
it is definitely a journey 🙂
it IS a journey—often wonderful and occasionally arduous, right?
Waiting, practicing patience, thinking through, and listening–such important life skills and even more important faith skills, and so hard to learn. But choosing to do so is a marvelous way to begin and to live in that process! Marvelous.
Kathryn—i am so sorry i didn’t see this until today. how rude of me! due to my apparent inability to check back, i reduced the time to comment as of today. hopefully i will not be neglectful in the future!