On Asking The Right Questions

Today, my talented and wonderful sister, Jennie (@MissJennieP / newsong40.wordpress.com) is guest posting.

I’d love to brag about Jennie for a while but she’s written a great post so I won’t keep you from it any longer than is necessary.

Suffice it to say, she’s me, only female and more talented…. and she has one of those cool English accents people I know seem to love.

She has also been to every continent except Antarctica.

I bet you can’t say that about YOUR sister!

Jennie currently lives and works very near here

I just got a new job!

It’s almost exactly what I’ve been wanting to do for ages. Almost, but not quite.

I nearly didn’t even apply for it because it’s not great timing for my current company, and my sense of loyalty almost won out over my ambition. Almost, but not quite!

My lovely colleagues persuaded me that when an opportunity like this comes along, you really ought to at least look into it, so I did. I walked ahead, feeling like I was leaving the warm, sunny day behind and entering a dark forest. I hesitated more than once, but curiosity triumphed over terror at every step, and so I crept forward.

And with every step I was straining to hear the voice of God: Is this the right thing? Should I even be considering it? Which would be the best career move for me? Which would be the right thing to do? Lord, if this is not where I should go, would you please shut the door? (Are there doors in a forest?!)

After the initial ‘find out what it’s all about’ meeting, the door stayed open, and I walked forward, listening.

After the first interview, the door stayed open, and I walked forward, listening.

After the second interview, the door stayed open, and the next step would be the crucial one.

Completely conflicted, I came home and prayed. Which path should I take? There are real positives and real negatives about both. My reasons for staying put are not all that great (loving my colleagues, loving the community I’m becoming part of around the office, fearing change), but are my reasons for moving on any better (ego, loving the potential colleagues, an iPhone…)?

Round and round I went. Blundering in the darkness, unable to look into the future and see where each path would take me, pretty sure either would be good but… which?

And then I changed tack.

As I expressed it to Peter on twitter that night:

“When I stopped asking ‘What’s best for me’ and started asking ‘where can you best use me’ it got v easy!”

Rather than seeking the path God would bless, or even trying to discern which he had in mind, I stopped, took a deep breath and said:

“God, I’m yours. I want to do the thing that would bring you most glory, honour and praise. I want to take the path that is best for you. Where can you best use me? Which path would benefit you the most?”

And that prayer he answered loud and clear.

Have I had doubts since? Yes.

Do I feel awful about leaving my current job at a relatively tricky time? Of course.

Will there be days when I wonder why I left the safety of the familiar to start out somewhere new again? Undoubtedly.

But I know I’d have had bad days, doubts and regrets if I’d stayed, too. This way, at least I can remind myself that I’m doing the right thing for the right reasons.

None of those questions I was asking God before were bad questions. They are all perfectly valid and acceptable ways of seeking God for the future and trying to discern His will and His voice, but I hope I’ll remember the lesson, that he was pleased, and answered more quickly and clearly when I turned the focus from myself to Him.

What are you seeking answers on today?
When have you found that by praying differently you get clearer answers?
What kind of prayers would God delight to answer in your life?

You can read more by Jennie Pollock on her blog at http://newsong40.wordpress.com/

I am a blogger, author, stay at home dad, speaker, web hosting trainer and geek (I was so excited to get an iPad that I actually made up a song and dance about it). I am English by birth, but currently live in California with my wife and our three children. I ran a web hosting business for nine years and found that many, if not most of my clients had never learned how to use any of the functions associated with hosting so I wrote a book to try and teach just those skills. I must admit to having fallen in love with WordPress (possibly a little TOO much) and I honestly find it hard to understand why anyone would use anything different to build a site! WordPress is wonderful! My passion is to help others achieve their goals with their websites/blogs. I believe that, with a little help, anyone can have an awesome site.

3 thoughts on “On Asking The Right Questions”

  1. I always remember something Rick Warren said: Don’t ask God to bless what you’re doing, ask God to allow you to do what He’s blessing.

    Sounds like you’re doing just that, Jennie.

    1. Thanks Katdish, that’s a great quote – I haven’t come across that one, but think I have heard something similar.

      Thanks for your encouragement!

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