Submarines have sonar; airplanes have flight guidance systems and radar; and salmon have an innate knowledge that instinctly guides them. But what about you and me, when we need, pray, and hope for guidance? What do we have to help guide us through our darkness?
There have been many times in my life when I have felt like a lost, wayfaring stranger– not knowing what to do, where to go, when to stop, when to go, where to turn, what mountain to climb, what valley or desert to cross, what river to swim, etc. I hoped and prayed for guidance that I soooooo needed.
Now that I have many years of life behind me, I consider myself a life veteran, who has lived in the trenches and been through and learned from many skirmishes and battles.
As a life veteran, I do not have all the answers, but I have learned that people only learn as they go–learn as they grow. People can acquire knowledge and skills to prepare themselves well, but they only learn to use those assets when they begin to practice or apply them.
People do not know how to be soldiers on a battlefield until they are soldiers on a battlefield. People do not know how to be married until they marry; learn how to be a single mother until they are a single mother; learn how to live in poverty until they live in poverty
People do not learn how to live with illness until they live with an illness; learn how to take care of a sick loved one until they have a sick loved one; learn how to lose a loved until they lose a loved one; learn how to be a senior citizen living alone until they are a senior citizen who lives alone, etc.
Because my children are now adults, I have a veteran parent’s wisdom I now share with my daughters. The one thing I consistently tell them is, “You learn to be a parent while you are a parent. You only learn to be a baby’s parent, when you are a baby’s parent, and you learn to be an adolescent’s parent, when you are an adolescent’s parent.
You learn to be a teenager’s parent, when you are a teenager’s parent; you learn to be an adult child’s parent, when you are an adult child’s parent; you learn to be a grandparent, when you are a grandparent. And I am still learning in those last two areas of parenting.
As long as I live, I will continue to think of life as a school, and I will always be an enrolled, actively engaged student.
Until about a year ago, I never had the Internet in my home. Until six months ago, I never really understood what a blog was. Until two months ago, I never dreamed that I would have my own website with a Word Press blog platform. I still feel like I need guidance in this latest endeavor, but somehow I am muddling through and learning as I go. And, it has been meaningful work that has also been very enjoyable.
Sometimes people recognize guidance as the voice of the Spirit within them; sometimes it is an instinctive or intuitive knowing; sometimes it is just taking a step and seeing where your foot lands and what happens next. Sometimes it is all of those things.
There is a saying that says, “If you have never made any mistakes, you have never done anything.” Oftentimes people receive the best guidance from the mistakes they make, and I have made plenty.
My mistakes have given me a certainty, a sure knowing, that the mistakes I made were not the right choices or path for me. It was then, and only then, that I received guidance to do something else that was the right thing to get me where I needed to go, or teach me what I needed to know.
Life has been both my home school and my home school teacher. For some reason, I believe, I have needed to experience my life mistakes because they have taught me valuable lessons and made me who I am today. And today, I can share with others some of the valuable life lessons I have learned.
Now when I hope for guidance, I am aware that I am hoping for Spirit-guidance, an inner instinctive or intuitive knowing, and to have confidence I am not alone when I take the next step.
In my hope for guidance, I know that sometimes I will make mistakes, and I will have to pick myself up, dust myself off, and forge ahead to new life frontiers ahead of me.
I have no clue what my life will be like tomorrow, the next day, the next month, the next year. I just know that I am receiving, and will continue to receive, guidance as my feet land on unfamiliar territory ahead–yes ahead; not behind me.
Sometimes, when I am overly tired and need wisdom and guidance, I remember the words to an old song I learned when I was a child. Here’s Monica’s version of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” on a YouTube video. I hope you enjoy it.
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