There can be times when you long to know what's best to do. You may have reached a tricky point in a relationship or be facing financial problems or unemployment. Maybe you're simply wondering how to plan your day.
How can you and I know what to do at these times? We can think hard - weigh the pros and cons. This could take time, produce an iffy solution, even make us worried. It could even result in no answer at all.
Turning to God is a way of knowing what to do that eliminates worry, panic, and wasted time, and helps you make decisions with confidence and ease. The inspired thoughts God reveals are new and fresh for each new situation.
Listening for divine direction has gone on through the centuries, as men and women have turned to God, the divine Mind, as their source for guidance. From the Bible we learn how Noah heard God's message to build an ark and save his family. How Joseph turned to God to unravel the meaning of a king's dream, thus saving several nations. How Moses listened to God and knew how to lead the children of Israel out of bondage. So many people have listened for thoughts from God and found specific, creative answers - often unfathomable to the human mind, but nevertheless inspired and right for the moment. Mary Baker Eddy, the writer of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," referred to this listening activity: "The Soul-inspired patriarchs heard the voice of Truth, and talked with God as consciously as man talks with man" (Pg. 308). Soul and Truth are names for God.
We can hear God today. This is the way of life that Christ Jesus recommended. He said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30). This describes a simple and practical way of knowing what to do. It applies to decisions big and small. Instead of trying to sort things out by human reasoning alone, we can turn to God in humble prayer, trusting Him for thoughts that guide and instruct. Being Love, God will give us only the thoughts that are best for us - and everyone concerned. We play our complete part in this when we're ready to welcome His ideas. Christian Science shows the inseparable spiritual link we have with Him as His image.
My family had a good example of the value of listening to God. My husband's mother-in-law through his first marriage had just died, and we didn't know whether I should attend the funeral. A friend said it would look bad if I didn't go. I prayed for the answer that would be best for all of us. And it came clearly to me that it wasn't necessary for me to attend.
On the day of the funeral, my husband set off by train, planning to meet his youngest son en route. Well, this son missed my husband at the crowded station. My husband couldn't wait any longer - he would have missed the next train. He rang me to explain. Because I was at home for the day, it was possible for me to sit by the phone, taking calls from my husband and stepson, explaining to each what the other was doing! My stepson had even mislaid the address where the service was being held, and I was able to arrange for a taxi to be ready to take him promptly to the church.
Had I accepted the conventional decision and gone myself, this grandson wouldn't have been able to celebrate the accomplished life of his grandmother. My husband and I saw that, through the simple listening for God's guidance on what to do, this particular family member had been included in an occasion that was especially valuable for him.
God's answers are clear, direct, relevant, real, and tangible. They meet us where we are and benefit everyone. Turning to God in prayer, we find that our worry and anxiety are eliminated. We can practice this spiritual listening each day, and see how divine inspiration impels us to know exactly what to do. Isaiah explains how this happens: "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left" (30:21).