In the church where I work we have a preschool program. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the downstairs hallway is filled with children we call the “littles.” Their cheerful, chirpy voices often filter up to my office.
If I find myself in a place where I need a break to stimulate my thinking, I will wander downstairs or to the playground for a visit. Their exuberance and just plain excitement for the simplest things in life will change my perspective. “Ms. Gerry, look at this rock I found.” “Watch me go down the slide.” It’s no wonder to me why Jesus in Matthew 18 tells us that we should come as a little child.
There are things that we must learn as a child. I see these lessons taught each week at our preschool. I remember teaching them to my own children and I recall learning them myself. Why is it that we so easily forget the most basic lessons we learn as children? Lessons that if we translate them to life will help guide us in so many ways.
One of those lessons was these three simple words: Stop! Look! Listen! I hear these words frequently when I visit the preschoolers. They know what they mean. They just forget to use them.
I know what they mean too, in their literal sense. But if I take these words and apply them to my life in a slightly different way it amazes me how the Holy Spirit can work in me. Here’s an example.
Like many people I like to get things done. Give me an idea or a project and I jump right in. I think our society trains us the more we do the more successful we are.
What I have discovered is that before I jump right in I need to stop, look, and listen. When I take the time to evaluate and plan my projects, it makes my life so much easier. Here’s a process that works for me.
When I’m given an idea, whether by God or man, I follow these three steps.
When I know that I am following the leading of the Holy Spirit I know that He will provide all I need to complete the assignment or project I’ve been given. So, I now begin to look for the resources I will need. Some of these may be human resources, people that will come along side of me. There may be financial needs or supplies. Whatever the need, if you are obeying God, He will provide. But you may have to look.
All the while, I am listening. Circumstances change. What started out one way may need to take a twist or turn. Sometimes I get off target and God will gently direct me back to His path. I need to be certain that I am listening to what God is telling me.
The next time you have a project, an assignment from the Lord or a request from a friend or family member, I encourage you to try this simple model. Stop, look, and listen. Three simple steps that with God’s guidance will make your work move ahead smoothly.