Seeking the Lord’s Direction

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In their hearts humans plan their course,  but the Lord establishes their steps.      Proverbs 16:9

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Assignment: IF you could have three wishes, what would they be?

Answer: To never be born. To never be born. To never be born.

This wasn’t the response I ever expected to receive from any of my students. It was a question included within a diagnostic survey, which I used at the very beginning of the course to help me better understand my students and where they were coming from in life to the point they entered my classroom. The girl was a freshman, around age fourteen. To not want life—ever. What prompted her to write this three times for her three wishes?

Reading that response was like a Frank Capra moment with George Bailey on the bridge ready to jump and the angel Clarence showing up, rather clumsily, to save him as George declares he wishes he had never been born. And I was a new teacher—with no wings. Do I jump into this, like Clarence, and take the dive to get involved-or just pass it on to the counselor?

It is a choice we make in our lives with the people we encounter. Involvement or disengagement, empathy or apathy, personal or impersonal–or none? Before the choice is made, we should ask ourselves the wristband question: “What would Jesus do?”

When the Lord saw an opportunity to reach a soul, He engaged: with the Samaritan woman at the well, the crippled beggar at the pool, tax collectors, James and John, lepers, the adulterous woman, a rich young ruler, the Pharisees, religious leaders at the temple as a youth, and more and more throughout His life here on earth. Even when alone, He engaged with God.

We have become a society of lesser engagement. We may have 800+ Facebook friends, but how do we really classify 95% of the encounters on a scale of true involvement? We even have a growing constituency called “None” in this country who are not particularly associated with any religious group and may not even believe in God.

If we are here, God has a purpose for each and every one of us:

Acts 26:15-18. God’s purpose for the Apostle Paul: 15 “And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you to serve and bear witness to the things in which you have seen Me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from the people and from the Gentiles—to whom I send you 18 to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ ”

John 15:16 –“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you.”

Purposeful engagement. It is what the Lord modeled for us-and what he expects of us. So, yes, I jumped and helped this girl who had no purpose to find one by letting her know I cared, I was praying for her, and I was there for her. I had her for three years in English 9-11 and followed her through her senior year. She got through school. She endured more struggles regarding the answer to those three wishes, but the last time I saw her, she was pushing a shopping cart with two little children inside, beaming that she was happily married. God had a different plan for her than those three wishes she wrote down that day.

  In their hearts humans plan their course,  but the Lord establishes their steps.      Proverbs 16:9

And we may be the ones God uses to encourage those moves with our purposeful engagement in others’ lives.

(Sharon G. Tate 10/09/16 blog) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

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