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Saturday, October 29, 2016

I need the answer now!

There is great joy in having the right answer, and how sweet is the right word at the right time! (Proverbs 15:23 VOICE)
What is the right answer?  This is the question asked in schoolrooms all around the world by teachers desiring to "test" a student's knowledge or learning. The question seems innocent enough, but when called upon to actually provide the right answer it is a bit more difficult that one may first think.  There is this thing inside many of us which society has labeled as "test-taking anxiety" which seems to abruptly interrupt the "circuitry" in our brain and we "freeze" under pressure. I don't think this phenomena is limited to the classroom, though, for I know a good many times in my own personal life where I was called upon to share  the "right answer", but came up blank! The hard disk in my brain was spinning as fast as it could, but somehow the information I was looking to produce was misfiled or just too jumbled to come out right!
The right word at the right time is doubly hard to produce sometimes, is it not?  We just seem to go "blank" as though every bit of wisdom we amassed over the years is kind of like a locked treasure chest and we cannot remember where we laid the key! The issue isn't that we don't know the answer, it is that we don't know how to produce it. This is why we so desperately need the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If we explore the purpose of his presence in our lives, Jesus said it was to help us remember everything he commands, promises, and has taught us (John 14:26). As we look a little further into the Gospel of John, we find Jesus gave the Holy Spirit so that his disciples could take the mantle of forgiveness into the entire world - sharing the life-giving power to forgive sins.  The right answer at the right time may just be the answer that gives life, makes a path straight for forgiveness to begin its journey, and to ensure the work of forgiveness is coupled with restoration and reconciliation!
We might think the right answer at the right time is dependent upon something we "know" or are able to "reason out", but in truth, it is dependent solely upon us being willing to listen for that small voice within which guides us into all truth, gives us all wisdom, and reminds us of the importance of our actions. It is more about "yielding" or "resting" than it is about struggling or "computing" thought. That said, let me just say that not all "wisdom" is godly. We might be well-intentioned in what we share and still miss the mark. Why? It isn't that we didn't have the right intentions, we just didn't take the time to listen closely to what the Holy Spirit was saying - perhaps only listening to half the instructions and then launching into our action. We all can associate with that one, I am pretty confident, for none of us is "spot-on" all of the time in what we say or do. That is what makes us human.  It is also what makes us dependent upon "Supra-Human Wisdom" within us in order to ensure we are bringing forth the right word in the right time!
Rather than thinking we have to learn more, maybe it is just that we have to "think" less and allow the Holy Spirit to bring forth what is already there.  Just maybe that could be the best answer! Just sayin!