Promptings made perfect – what happens when it’s time to move on?
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
― Leo Tolstoy
There occur pivotal moments in all our lives.
Should I stay or should I go? Wait or jump?
2020 was a pivotal year. It caused so many of us to re-evaluate and prioritise anew.
For me, it was the end of almost a 30-year quest. In 1991 I started working for Moorlands College; such a place of blessing, but also one of profound challenge. During my time there, I ensured that I kept my eyes, ears and heart open to the promptings of God’s Holy Spirit – not only through a quiet disciplined life of prayer and reflection, but also through the cut and thrust of teaching and engaging with staff and students. Their godly promptings taught me so much about life, love, and joy and, also of handling failures suffering and pain.
Whether you are interested in ‘spiritual promptings’ or not, my experience has shown me that we all have ‘voices in our head’ – maybe Self-talk? Promptings? Our calling (Vocation)?
Our task as mentors or coaches is to encourage and support those we are alongside to ‘listen to that still small voice’ and to learn to distinguish between thoughts that are positive and those that may be unhelpful or even destructive.
I sometimes found promptings in unusual places.
How about you?
One prompting I experienced, was after I’d been at Moorlands for about 4 years. I asked God, ‘When is it time for me to leave this post?’
I sensed a somewhat impatient reply of ‘it will be obvious!’
Twenty-five years later during the pandemic, the answer to my question became obvious, so I handed in my notice. Just after that a close friend brought me a prompting when he said that God had shown him that I had worked at Moorlands in God’s ‘Golden Tower’, but now He had provided a ‘mine shaft’ for me to hew out new nuggets of GOLD. A colleague Julie Austin at Moorlands had previously painted a beautiful picture that inspired me to think of God’s words as ‘liquid gold’.
These promptings have encouraged me to develop a route map for my next steps. I call them my GOLDEN years.
In acrostic form it stands for:
G – God comes first
O – Our family and real-life friends are vital
L – Local community is vital – my involvement should increase *
D – Discipling the Nations** should be a focus
E – Encourage others through The Encouragement Conference
N – New initiatives will come along – I should consider following these prompts.
So today, what pivotal changes are you facing?
Are you thinking about making a change or taking up something new?
How are you doing listening to the promptings of others or that ‘still small voice’?
* Two local charities I’m involved with as a trustee
** A national charity I’m involved with as a trustee