WHAT would you do if you found there was no alternative but to seek water from a rock? That's the situation Moses was faced with when the Israelites were journeying in the desert and they needed water. He asked God for direction and was instructed to go to a rock in Horeb, ``and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink.''1 Moses did as he was instructed, and the Israelites received the water they needed. When I'm faced with trouble I generally ask God in prayer how to solve it. Then when I feel Him impelling me to take a particular course of action, I endeavor to obey. But I wonder if I would have been as unquestioningly obedient as Moses was. I might have wondered how a rock could possibly produce water. I might have wondered how foolish I would look doing such a thing. I might have wondered if there was a far more ``reasonable'' action to be taken. And my time spent wondering would have left a lot of people thirsty!
How often do we resist following a particular course of action because it doesn't fit with our analysis of the situation? Would it require abandoning long-held procedures or customs? Certainly wisdom is a quality of God, and we wouldn't want willfully to do something foolish. But if we're listening in prayer for God's direction, for His pure thoughts, we need to let go of preconceived notions.
How can we become more accepting of God's direction? We might start by deepening our trust in Him--in His care for us and His ability to impart the wisdom we need. We have ample proof of His ability to care for His children, both in the Scriptures and in the lives of individuals today who turn to--and then follow--His direction.
``Be sure that God directs your way; then, hasten to follow under every circumstance,''2 writes Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Our willingness to follow is the best measure of our trust in God. If our trust is rooted in an understanding of God's deep love for His children, we won't resort to analyzing the answer God gives us, looking for the justification to follow or not follow His direction. We won't let pride stand in the way of our doing as directed--no matter how foolish our behavior might appear. We'll be willing to give up preconceived ideas about how things should be done.
But how do we know the direction we feel is from God? If we've been praying with humble receptivity to the one divine Mind, we'll intuitively discern God's guidance. I've also found it helpful to ask myself if a course of action will bless me and others as God would bless us and if it demands the expression of such God-derived qualities as integrity, compassion, humility.
The more we come to know God through prayer, the more clearly we will discern His direction. And if at times we're mistaken, our sincere desire to do God's will can awaken us to the more correct course of action.
So what do you think you'll do if you feel divinely impelled to look in an unusual place for a lost object or recommend an incredible solution to a corporate problem or make an unexpected change in life direction? I hope we'll both follow that angelic impulse--then stand back and behold the affluence of God's love for us!
1Exodus 17:6. 2Miscellaneous Writings, p. 117. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways achknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5,6