We are taught at a very young age to look both ways before crossing the street.. I thought I looked both ways when I was about to cross at an intersection as a child with my bike. I didn’t see the car that was going to turn the corner in my direction and slammed my bike into him (fortunately just a few stitches). I have also failed to pause and listen for God’s will to avoid the oncoming traffic of life. Instead, I reacted and the accidents or consequences were worse than a few stitches.
We get messages from the echoes of our past (e.g. “your not going to amount to anything”), from our conscious (“that was a lie”), from our brain, in the form of deceptive brain messages (according to Dr Schwartz in “You Are Not. Your Brain”), from our inner child as he screams at us to find relief in unhealthy coping(according to Dr Capparucci in “Going Deeper”), and from our trauma “my stomach is tied in knots” (according to Dr Van Der Kemp in “The Body Keeps Score), from the world in the form of distorted thinking (“the news makes me feel unsafe”). Each distracting us from hearing what God wants for us.
The first step is finding ways to build awareness that provides the necessary skill to detect that something is not right. We then can pause, slow down and reflect. Possibly ask “what is going on right now”, “why am I feeling out of sorts”, “is this due to a deceptive message, a shame wave, an echo or my inner child?”. These or other questions will provide a means for detecting the source and addressing the distorted thinking, “oh that is just my past, or my shame, or my brain again” (Dr Schwartz research shows how our brain creates deceptive brain messages through broken circuits).
God’s voice can be detected. We are called to seek God’s will and to surrender, seeking his guidance and wisdom in important decisions, responses, investments, changes, and struggles. But we often don’t pause “to look both ways” and listen for Him, the noise can be very distracting. It may require a phone call first to an advisor, mentor or sponsor and give you the time to reflect and remember to ‘be still and know that I am God’, and ‘to let go and let God’.
So, when the traffic of life gets too busy look both ways and listen!