Many years ago a number of unrelated or connected people in my life said something similar in different ways within a short period of time. It made me stop and think. I looked inside myself and thought – I think they are right.
That thought was enough for me to hand in my notice, get some additional qualifications, work part-time while doing that, and then go to university a year after that. Teacher Training degree. What I was told was “I think you would make a really good teacher!”
So why – years laters – do I happily do accounts and payroll and credit control?
Well, student life was Great! Except for the requirement to study. And exams – they seemed a little harsh. Getting up in the mornings? Sort of intruded into my routine. Stuff like that.
Instead of teaching, I became “social secretary” (The band U2? I booked them. They were just “breaking” then. Playing halls of 600-1000. Bono? All I remember is passing by and thinking I had a naked man on stage! He wore a pink body suit for some reason).
And instead of teaching I became disillusioned. Many students were only there because it delayed “looking for work” for another year after their degree course. Teaching seemed much less a vocation – more a “I don’t know what to do” strategy.
In those days the government funded such endeavours. Student Loans had not been invented then. Degrees were for the elite. The crème de la crème of the intellectually endowed. Like wot I woz. Investing in their future to receive a return from their contribution to society in the following years. In my case it was not such a wise investment.
That whole part of my life took four years. Turned it upside down and far away. All because a number of people got me thinking.
Nowadays listening for guidance is pro-active rather than passive. Direct, through words, through others, through repetition, through testing. Since “doing God for real” I have turned my life upside down and far away. Some call it being born again. Others call it dying to this world. I don’t call it anything.
Don’t need no degree. Don’t need no book studying. Don’t need to weird rituals. Don’t need no good or bad music. Don’t need very much at all. Don’t even need to agree with everyone.
Just Love. Just Simple. Just to relate. Relationship. Love. God. Simple. And listen. Like you would your lover. Like your best friend. Like you mum or your dad. Your bestie (but please – no selfies!)
Sometimes I look back. What if … I hadn’t booked a naked weirdo … had done good … had become a teacher? It’s a fun pastime, but pretty pointless.
Because now? Now I simply know –
He guides me whether I say yes or no. Might even build a whole new stage and give me a whole new set of characters. If that is what he wishes. I sense that whichever path I follow … if I listen with love – with faith – with simplicity – with relationship …
I know he will surround me. With his scenery. His children. His landscape.
Just like being submerged in love, I get a real sense I am submerged “in everything”. Customised and tailored just for me. That is MASSIVE!
And then my brain explodes …
When I transfer that thinking to include every single one of us. You and you. And that evil person sinning over there. All of us. That is not MASSIVE – that is beyond MASSIVE … and my brain has just exploded again!
Maybe that is why we struggle with this “God stuff” and “simplicity” so often.
God is so big he explodes my brain. So there must be a rational explanation we can impose – to stop ending up crazy or in debt or stuff like that. So we hit our panic button again and again:
“Large portion of Complicated, please – and make it snappy!”
BTW, He seems to have hidden my panic button somewhere. Probably by the finger paints somewhere. Who knows?
(amazing what a few verses do to a chap:
He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them. Mark 10:1-2)