“Take your age and subtract two. That’s the number of years you’ve spent forcing yourself to say “yes” when your essential self wanted to say no.” Martha Beck, Finding Your Own North Star
I own the entire Magnum P.I. ‘Season One.’ I became a fan of the series during its’ original run in the 80s. The good P.I. that he was, Magnum would oft follow his hunches. To key you into his thinking, Magnum would say something such as, “A little voice told me not to visit her vast coastal mansion.” When he listened to the little voice, things went better. Failure to listen to the little voice meant disaster.
My dad’s Jewish and from my youth I’ve come to strongly identify with Jewish food and Jewish guilt. Everybody struggles in this area, but I struggle more. My whole life people have been telling me, “It’s your fault.” During one dating relationship my mate had me convinced I was responsible for the start of World War I. At the same level I’ve chosen to listen to the voices of other people and to stifle my own. After I became a Christian this talent made it easier to quench the voice of the Holy Spirit.
While married I often kowtowed to the voice of my spouse knowing in the depth of my heart my own opinion was contrary. As the marriage disintegrated and counseling was integrated I grew in regard to listening to that voice.
Now when the midnight call comes saying, “Dillo, yah dad’s sick and you need to come down here immediately,” I process the information until the voice is solid. I run the information through a grid.
1) Am I just responding to the tyranny of the urgent? In high pressure situations people want me to make immediate commitments. Usually immediate action is not necessary.
2) What does God say about it? These are the easy ones. Many an issue has no obvious moral or biblical solution.
3) What are my priorities? Does it interfere with my goals at work? Does it negate promises I’ve made to my daughter?
4) Try standing on the different options. One of the options will be a platform of peace. Stand on that platform.
Who’s voice is loudest in your life?
Helicopter swoops in to save the day; music rolls in and fades out.