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Through the Waters

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Through the Waters is the blog of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Christian vocation ministries. Because the ministry of Christian vocation affirms the need for all baptized Christians – including Presbyterians - to identify and claim their call to discipleship in each decision and life choice, this blog is designed to serve as a resource for youth and young adults, as well as those in ministry with them, to assist the Holy Spirit in God’s movement in this journey through the waters. Take some time to read and think about your own responses to the questions posed here. For additional resources, we suggest that you visit our website.

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July 14, 2010

Hearing Voices

Having just returned from the PC(USA) General Assembly, I’ve had a lot of time to think about the voices that all of us find ourselves hearing. At a large gathering like that it’s difficult to escape the voices. I had a chance to hear voices that were very familiar to me, voices that were new, and some that may have been silenced in other situations. What an amazing opportunity! 

Of course, not all of the voices around us on a regular basis are particularly helpful. I remember working with a young woman whose words were only negative. It seemed like every time she opened her mouth only complaining came out. I found that I often got sucked into it and had to struggle to keep that voice from invading my own thoughts that tended to be more positive and loving. 

Other voices can lead us into doing things that we shouldn’t. Even when we know that it isn’t right or the best choice, a voice and its impact can persuade us. A part of what we are called to do is to figure out which voices are the ones we should listen to and which we can do without. As those living as disciples of Christ, there are often difficult decisions to be made, some against the culture.

One other issue related to the many voices around us is the fact that it is also easy to surround ourselves with voices, not allowing much time without them ringing in our ears. The voices of teachers, professors, friends, parents, musicians, entertainers, and co-workers can overwhelm the silence and the time that we can be engaged in our own thoughts and the messages God is trying to get through to us.

The Presbyterian Youth Triennium where over 5000 young people and adults will gather for fellowship and growing in faithfulness, will take place at Purdue University in just a matter of days. As a part of this event, participants will have an opportunity to listen to who God may be calling them to be. One portion of this search includes reflecting on two questions that relate directly to the voices around us. Take some time and think about these questions yourself. 

Who is someone you admire because they seem to live by their faith? What impresses you about them and why?

When the Old Testament prophet Elijah met God on the mountain top, God was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but in a “still, small voice.” In what ways have you heard the voice of God?

Categories: Musings, Youth