I had some time on my hands. My flight home wasn't for another four hours. The thought came, "Go see Mike."
Mike had been one of my star undergraduate students, and he was now attending a graduate school on the other side of the city I was visiting. Maybe he and I could have dinner together and catch up on things.
On the other hand, the idea of spending time by myself near the hotel was equally appealing. Besides, there was no guarantee he'd be there. But again, the thought came, "Go see Mike."
I've learned over the years that it's a good idea to listen to this inner voice when it's prompting me to do something. I'm learning to recognize it as the friendly voice of God, "a still small voice" (see the Bible, I Kings 19:12).
Like lots of folks, I'm discovering that our Father-Mother God speaks to us today as surely as that voice spoke to the prophet Elijah and many other people thousands of years ago. You just have to listen.
And when you do, you're able to hear a calm, ever-present influence in your thought - I call it Christ - helping you to respond in the best way in any situation. You're able to feel the trustworthy spark of God, who is divine Spirit and pure Love, motivating you to do what you ought to do.
I headed down to the subway, which the concierge said would be the best route during rush hour. A half an hour later, I emerged - exactly where I'd started. I had taken the wrong train and it was all I could do just to get back.
I decided not to go see Mike.
But again, ... well, you know. I recalled a verse from the Bible: "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" (Isa. 30:21). I was definitely hearing "a word behind" me. I figured I'd better try again.
So I jumped in a taxi. The driver took an unexpected, beautiful scenic route that revealed vistas of the city I had never seen before. I took this as a sign that God was indeed guiding me, that I was doing the right thing.
I found Mike's desk at the school, but he was out. I left him a note. I was puzzled. I felt I had been listening to God, but what was the point?
Before heading back, I strolled the campus. I explored a remarkable building. Being an architect, I felt that maybe this was another reason I'd felt led to go there.
The next day I received an e-mail from Mike, telling me how discouraged, unhappy, and unappreciated he'd felt during his first semester. Finally, I understood. "Go see Mike" was only half of divine Love's message. The other half was "because he needs help."
I had assumed that visiting Mike was somehow important in God's plan for me. Now I saw that it was important in God's plan for Mike.
I sent him several encouraging e-mails. I assured him that his talents were unfailing and would naturally shine. His second semester was a success.
About that "still small voice" that speaks to us, the founder of the Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote, "We are either turning away from this utterance, or we are listening to it and going up higher" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," pg. 323). It's natural to hear God's voice and to know what good and practical things we can do that will help us and our neighbors.
Rely with all
your heart on the
Eternal, and never
lean on your own
insight; have mind
of him wherever
you may go, and
he will clear
Proverbs 3:5, 6
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