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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lead the Way

There is one particular phrase that I’ve said countless times in my life and that is – Lead the way!  The main reason those words come out of my mouth so freely is that I’m hopelessly inept when it comes to directions.  I mean, I can whip out a recipe while following directions and I can eventually figure out how to fold a complex paper airplane using directions.  BUT!  Driving directions?  Foh-get about it!  You won’t ever see me in the front of any caravan saying, “Follow me!”

Prime example – just the other day, I told my husband that I needed to run an errand thirty minutes from the house.  He asked (as he always graciously does), “Do you need me to draw you a map?”  “Nope,” I confidently replied, “I got this.”

Now, I’m also desperately old-fashioned in many ways and I don’t own a GPS or smart phone or any other technology gizmo, doodad, thingamajig, or doohickey that could help me along the way, say, IF, I got turned around.  I do have a flip-phone (but, no texting…).  So cool, I know, but please don’t be jealous – ha ha!

So, recalling the one time I had been to this place, I dug down deep to remember the way.  Of course, I got turned around (because there were TWO roads with the exact same name – go figure!) and I took the one on the left instead of the one on the right.  Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and my ever so dependable coin flip failed me – hee hee!

I will have you know that I sensed I was not headed in the right direction since nothing looked familiar.  So, before I was in another state, I turned around and headed down the other road choice.  My hubby was extremely proud of me for this realization.  Typically, NOTHING clicks in the directions department.  I don’t normally “sense” anything.  I’m makin’ progress, people.  Makin’ progress.  There’s hope.

I kid you not, two days later, an elderly man was stopped in the middle of a country road and was waving his hands for help.  I didn’t know what he needed, so I slowed down a bit and hollered, “Can I help you?”  He said, “Yeah, I think I’m lost (join the club!), can you tell me where the nearest town is?”  I chuckled to myself (if he ONLY knew who he was asking directions from!).  I helped him with a few, simple directions and he was incredibly grateful.  Proud moment for me.

I may never be the “go-to-gal” when it comes to directions, but I promise to keep trying.  Of course, there is always one dependable source in which I continually ask for direction.  My prayer begins with “Lead the way, Lord.”  I received an e-mail reflection about guidance the other day that was certainly a keeper:

Whether I invite a particular change or it seems thrust on me, change is unsettling.  “What should I do?” “What can I do?” I may ask.  While advice from others may be helpful, it might also lead me to overthink, until I am even more confused.

I will turn within to shed divine light on the subject.  Going deeper than surface appearances, I become receptive to infinite wisdom.  I quiet my thinking mind, and in the stillness, I allow my intuition to be awakened.  I know the answers are within me, and I wait for them to unfold.  With clarity and calm, I summon the courage to act on the divine guidance I receive.  I am thankful for a greater good unfolding through me.

That little prayer brings me peace, especially when I’m in decision-making mode.  When I knock on God’s door so often throughout the day, there are times I get a mighty “YES.”  But, aren’t there times when we get a loving “NO?”  Here is an e-mail I received from Aunt Irene that puts some things into perspective for me when I ask for quick fixes and God knows there is a better way:

I asked God to take away my habit.  God said, “No.  It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.”

I asked God to grant me patience.  God said, “No.  Patience is a byproduct of tribulations.  It isn’t granted.  It is learned.”

I asked God to give me happiness.  God said, “No.  I give you blessings.  Happiness is up to you.”

I asked God to spare me pain.  God said, “No.  Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to Me.”

I asked God to make my spirit grow.  God said, “No.  You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful.”

I asked God for all things so that I might enjoy life.  God said, “No.  I will give you life so that you may enjoy all things.”

I asked God to help me love others as much as He loves me.  God said, “Ahhh…finally you have the idea.”

Lead the way.

As my family and I wrapped up a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, we made it a point to pray for and remember all of those special men and women who have fought and fallen for our many freedoms.  As a part of our celebrations, we went to an amazing sand sculpture that was crafted in honor and in memory of our country’s heroes.  As one sculptor put it, “True heroes wear dog tags, not capes.”

While we were visiting, we heard a story that will not soon be forgotten.  It was yet another reminder of the importance of listening to the Holy Spirit’s nudges.  A woman shared a story of how a soldier etched his best friend’s name in one of the sand sculptures.  He then wept as he remembered his fallen friend.  As he pointed to his friend’s name, he cried, “He was my very best friend.”  While he said this, a couple stood nearby and overheard his cries.  They said, “Which name are you pointing to?  Who was your best friend?”  The soldier pointed to the name and the couple embraced the man.  “He was our son.”  And so, a new chapter begins.

One minute sooner or one minute later and this timely meeting might not have taken place.  Did the Holy Spirit nudge the young soldier and the fallen soldier’s parents to be at the Wounded Warrior’s sand sculpture at just that moment?  I think so.

When the Spirit nudges, we should always respond with, “Lead the way.”

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