This week begins my orientation into the Masters of Quaker Studies through Barclay College. I am SUPER excited and also thankful that the workload is minimal this week since I am still in two other courses - one being Leadership (enjoyable), the other Economics (not so enjoyable). Next week I will have all three courses and will continue to take it one day at a time and trust God to work out the details.
I was trying to find a reference for a response I was making to a classmate when I "happened" upon a statement by Brent Bill in his book, "Sacred Compass - The Way of Spiritual Discernment." Note, this was not highlighted by me or marked in any way. "Learning to follow the divine compass means stopping and paying attention instead of looking for a magical map with the shortest route highlighted in yellow. Learning what God wants of us means letting the Holy Spirit guide us into the deep places of our souls. We learn to look for God in those deep places and in all the places our lives take us" (p. xi).
Did you see it, the words that leapt off the page at me? "Learning to follow the divine compass means stopping and paying attention instead of looking for a magical map with the shortest route highlighted in yellow!!!!!" (emphasis mine)
I think I have been looking for the yellow highlighter to appear from God. Cheesy? Perhaps, but with all the reading I am doing, after I read chapters, I go back an re-read what I highlighted. It helps me find something again and honestly, it would be pretty handy for Jesus to just do some highlighting for me on things He wants to come back to and give it another go.
Have you read the story of Elijah lately? 2 Kings 19, to be exact.
Verse 11 begins: He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.In other translations, sheer silence is translated "still small voice" or "whisper." The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translates is "sheer silence." When is the last time you heard sheer silence? We have so much noise in our lives that I cannot remember experiencing sheer silence. Yet, are we to take from verse 12 that God was in the sheer silence since it does not say he wasn't? That is how I have applied it to my life - that God is in the still small voice, the whisper, the silence.
When you re-read all of 2 Kings, though, it's a very sad ending to Elijah's ministry. He was terrified - running for his life and hiding in a cave. God asks him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
Is God asking you that right now? Where you are in your life, is He saying, "What are you doing here?"
The Holy Spirit lives within me, my sacred compass. I know He will not lead me astray or down a wrong path. Obedience, for me, means allowing Him to be my center. Reading Scriptures with empty hands and an expectant heart of what is to come. Taking each step even though the light is only shining on where my feet are, not where I am going to put them. Trusting. Letting the Holy Spirit fill all of my deep places (that I don't always want to spend time in) and trust the Light to shine forth.