STOP! Before you erase or scroll past this post, take a deep breath, close your eyes and shut off all the noise around you for just one minute.
Welcome back. In case you’re wondering, that was the state of peace and quiet you just experienced, a state that’s increasingly rare in most of our lives today. Of course, it’s also the state in which we’re best able to hear and respond to the calls that matter most in life. Calls not only from the voice of reason or the voice of conscience, but more importantly, calls from the voice of God, that still small voice that just happens to be the main source from which true wisdom flows. The question is: Can you hear the calls from this voice?
I was recently asked to deliver a commencement address for Bethel College. Although I felt incredibly blessed by this opportunity, to be honest, I also felt unqualified. As a result, I struggled through a number of fears, doubts, and insecurities before I could even bring myself to accept the invitation. Unfortunately, this was only half the battle as, in the midst of a very hectic schedule, I failed numerous times in my attempts to actually plan what to share that day. Truth be known, the voices calling in my head, along with the many voices calling from all around me were so loud, I could barely hear the most important voice—that still small voice.
Although there’s much more to this story, I did eventually make it through the commencement exercises. And, more importantly, I’m at peace knowing that I heard that still small voice and answered the call to share what I was supposed to that day. But, looking back, what’s really cool…the three main things I challenged the graduates to consider in hopes of helping them hear and answer the right calls in life, were the very same things I myself had to get in order, as I sought to hear and answer the call for me that day. In other words, as I prepared, I had to put into practice what I was about to share; I had to make certain that:
- I was drinking mainly from the ONE true source
- I was staying true to who I am and why I am here
- My priorities were set on the right foundation
I firmly believe that within each of these considerations lie foundational truths that can profoundly affect every aspect of our lives. The problem is, in society today, the calls we’ve become most accustomed to hearing are already affecting nearly every aspect of our lives. With this in mind, over the next few weeks I’m going to share a few heart-felt thoughts on each of the three considerations listed above. Included with these thoughts will be a link to the portion of the commencement speech that speaks specifically to that topic. My hope is that these thoughts will challenge you to become more aware of the calls you’re listening to daily, the affects these calls are having on you, and the changes you might consider making in order to better hear the right calls in life…the calls from that still small voice.