Recently I visited a local health food store, seeking out a particular employee for advice on choosing a pro-biotic for my youngest child. A friend recommended this employee for two reasons, both because she is knowledgeable about these products and because she "talks to Papa." I waited quite awhile to speak with her as she was in conference with other customers, but when I had my turn she listened attentively as I described our issues and what I hoped the pro-biotic could help us avoid. She asked some questions, spoke to the boys with interest (only the boys were with me), and took us to find an appropriate pro-biotic. Her advice, however, was not what I expected.
"Here is a pro-biotic, and here are digestive enzymes. These may help for a time, while you wait. But I can't tell you what to do. You will have to ask the Holy Spirit what you need to do. It may be inconvenient, what He tells you, and it may be very difficult, but that isn't really your issue. All you have to do is agree up-front to do whatever He asks, and then He will take care of making it possible."
The more I mull this over, the more I realize that this conversation really encapsulates the decision I face with every choice in life. Am I willing to agree up-front with what the Holy Spirit wants, before I even know what that is, and then plead for His answer and once I have it to turn the implementation over to Him? Or do I want what I wanted from this woman, a neatly laid-out plan with steps to check off, given to me by some wise person who knows all about how things should work?
I did not like the answer in the health food store, and I don't like that answer in the rest of my life either. But what am I missing out on when I choose to look for my own solutions rather than seeking out God's? That doesn't mean I have to be inactive. I can take the pro-biotic and the enzymes to tide me over while I wait, and I can get wise advice so I'll be prepared for whatever course I'm supposed to take, but am I willing to do those things while waiting, open for a course change whenever the Word comes? Am I willing to prepare myself while asking for guidance and agreeing to follow in any direction, even where I don't want to go?