Once I’m committed to a course of action, I find it hard to change my mind.
For forty-six years I lived the life of a pastor. In my branch of Christianity, congregations usually secure the services of pastors by “calling” them from other congregations. Search committees and pastors work hard to discern God’s will. At its best, the process leads all parties to a shared sense of God’s leadership.
A search committee and I once talked, prayed, and reflected together for several months. They represented a healthy congregation with a well-deserved reputation for meaningful engagement in worship, pastoral care, and community ministries. The committee and I agreed God seemed to be leading us together.
I had made up my mind and the decision had not been easy. I loved my current congregation and its ministries. Still, believing I had listened for God’s guidance and heard it correctly, I decided to endure the pain of separation and take up new work at a new church.
The chairperson called and made the offer. Suddenly, I simply could not say, “Yes.” I got a strong impression God had something else in mind for my current congregation, the prospective congregation, and me. I felt embarrassed by this unexpected turn of events, but managed to tell the chairperson what was happening and declined the committee’s invitation. In retrospect, I know God intervened for the good of all of us, and I’m glad I listened.
Sometimes listening for the voice of God requires us to change our minds about what we believe God wants of us. That’s what happened to Abraham, even as he lifted the knife to sacrifice Isaac. It’s happened to me. What about you?
Can you recall a time when you changed your mind about what God wanted you to do? What did you learn?
Lord, grant me wisdom and courage enough to change my mind whenever you prompt me to do so. Amen.