Earlier this month, I shared about something that my family felt led to do. Reactions were mixed. Some people thought we were insane. (I can’t disagree! haha!) Others were inspired and that was our whole purpose in sharing what we had done.
Many people just can’t wrap their head around why Handsome Hippie Hubby and I do some of the things we do. After all, it all seems so illogical.
The truth is, I don’t have a great answer. Telling people that we are listening to the voices in our heads does not often lead to productive conversation, but that’s really kind-of what it boils down to. However, there is a bit more to it that that. Our process of discernment includes many things including (but not always all of these, and not limited to):
*Do we both have the same “leading?” Often, one of us will hesitantly say, “I’ve been thinking about doing this crazy thing.” And the other will say, “I know. I’ve been thinking about it too.” If we are on the same page, there must be a reason.
* Does it follow God’s law? We are fairly liberal in our “religious language.” You don’t have to speak the same dialect as our particular church. For example, maybe you “partake of the host” and we “share in communion” and someone else “breaks bread together” and yet another “dines in fellowship.” Yeah… OK. All the same thing (more or less) in my book. That said, we believe there are some universal principles of “what is right.” For example, if we felt led to sell crack to pay our bills, that would NOT be a leading from God because it brings harm to others for our gain.
* Does it follow man’s law? Certainly, there are those in some parts of the world who are forced to break man’s law in order to obey a higher calling. Fortunately, at this time in history, Americans are not frequently placed in such a difficult position. If the time ever comes in our lives… well… we’ll deal with that then. For now, if we had a leaning to… oh… I don’t know… sell crack to pay our bills (no, I don’t really have that urge. It’s just a convenient example. I promise.), that would NOT be a leading from God because it’s illegal to sell crack in Michigan.
* Does it “follow our bliss?” There are exceptions. Sometimes God (the universe, our subconscious, life in general) asks us to do things that are uncomfortable. But, as a rule, HHH and I both believe that individuals are given certain talents, gifts and passions for a purpose. I don’t think that God would ever ask me to be the one to study law and defend the poor in court. My brother-in-law has done it and thank God for him and his peers. It’s not my cup of tea. I would be miserable.
* Have we prayed about it? HHH and I are dreamers. We come up with 100 AWESOME IDEAS every single day. We have dreamt about massive water parks and healing camps and hippie communes. We have dreamed about traveling the world and owning a bookstore and becoming Amish. Yeah… I’m guessing we won’t do most of those things. When an idea “sticks” in our hearts and minds we begin to pray about it. We read scripture and the writings of those wiser than ourselves. In times of quiet meditation we listen to the real leanings of our hearts. Perhaps the urge to start a healing camp is actually a calling to learn about medicinal herbs. Prayer and meditation are an absolute necessity.
Concerning prayer, sometimes a leading needs to be acted on instantly. I believe that is where daily prayer comes in. If you are in constant contact with Source then when you need to act quickly, you can do so with the assurance that you’re not “out in left field.”
There is one thing that both HHH and I agree must be cast aside when discerning. That is the question of “how?”
If God is telling us to do something then it is up to Him (Her, It) to figure out the particulars. We are on a need to know basis. When God told Noah to build the ark he gave very specific instructions. When he told Moses to lead the people out of Egypt, it was all very vague. We have found, without exception, that when we are following the leadings of our heart, the items, knowledge, people, etc we need are just… there.
I heard a man say, once that a group of people assigned a task asked their leader, “But where will the money come from?” After a moment he shrugged and said, “from where ever it is now.” That has always stuck with me. The things you need are “out there.” If you are “supposed” to have them you will know how to get them.
I said all that, to say this:
Sometimes we will never know WHY we are being led to do something. We are finite beings, incapable of truly seeing the big picture. What if you feel led to pay for the coffee of the person behind you and a man sitting at the table nearby is so touched that he wants to do something nice, too? Then he may donate to the local men’s addiction recovery shelter, making it possible for them to take in a guy who is ready to make some serious changes. That man cleans up his life and marries a lovely woman and they are able to raise a child who will become the president of the US and he is able to prevent a war and save millions of lives.
All because of a cup of coffee.
Possible? Why not?
But you would likely not even still be alive when the story of your cup of coffee reached its conclusion. You would never know, in this life, what a difference you made (just like George Bailey).
Recently, I read an extraordinary story about a woman who had a leading to take an action that seemed totally crazy. She acted on her leading to make a phone call on behalf of one boy and changed the lives of hundreds of people. Her entire town was mobilized to action. Hope was restored to many. Children were given a second chance in life. And now, years later, she is beginning to see the seeds she planted grow in a whole new generation.
Be a little crazy today, and follow the leadings of your heart. Who knows what wondrous miracles God will work through you?
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!