Thursday, September 05, 2019

Spiritual Journey First Thursday: Nudges

Our host Ramona invited us to reflect this month on the topic of "Nudges."

This has been a surprisingly difficult one. I think that it's a hard subject to put into words because it's so fuzzy. I probably make many of my daily decisions based on my intuition, but how much of that is a spiritual "nudge" from God and how much is my collected experience of life, and how much is just pure impulse in the moment? I can't easily break it down.

How interesting that I am often so quick to assign motives to other people, and to think I know exactly what they were thinking when they said or did a certain thing, when it is so challenging for me to unravel my own reasons for doing whatever I do!

I sometimes wonder how my life would be if some of those little nudges of the past hadn't happened. What if my parents had never met? What if my husband hadn't decided to transfer to the college where I was? What if he hadn't stopped by the college education department bulletin board to read about the schools advertising for teachers and to learn about the school in Haiti where our two children have had their entire education and where we have worked for more than twenty years now?

These nudges are mysterious, but I trust that God works through them and brings good.

Check out Ramona's blog to see what everyone else has to say on this subject.


Carol Varsalona said...

Ruth, today's theme has led you to some interesting what ifs. I recently heard my yoga teacher talk about the past, present, and future and how our perceptions guide our thinking. If we center our thoughts on the present we can become more mindful instead of looking back (my husband does this) and worrying about the future (I do this). I am leaning toward thinking about the words Ramona used in her post, holy nudges. I think all that you explained about your life were holy nudges to lead you toward your present. I am going to let the spirit of the dove speak to me today to center me more. Thank you for providing some backstory to how you came to be in Haiti, a noble calling.

Irene Latham said...

The mystery is the beauty of it, isn't it? I love the connection you're making between how you have a hard time identifying your own motives yet think you know exactly what others' motives are... guilty! Every human is just as complex as the next and as mysterious... I am learning to listen to the nudges. It helps me to remember that all paths are good paths. Truly are there really "mistakes"? They all bring us to where we are, which is exactly where we need to be. xo

Ramona said...

My husband has gone to Haiti a few times with the group Water for Life. He even did a videotape of their work there for churches to share (25+years ago). I love your reflection about some of the nudges in your past and the paths where they've led you. It made me think about a recent picture book of Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken. You should look for it.
I also liked reading your thinking about the daily decisions we make and wondering which are spiritual nudges, which are the collected experiences of life, and which are just pure impulse. It's hard to know, but I like Irene's comment that all decisions "bring us to where we are, which is exactly where we need to be." So glad you posted today in spite of the fuzzy word I chose.

Ruth said...

Oh Ramona, I didn't mean to criticize your word choice at all! It's a great word, it's just that it's hard for me to figure out how it works in my life.

Margaret Simon said...

It is hard to know if a spiritual nudge is really some dumb decision. I have to believe that we make what we make of our lives, but with God involved, we feel a certain confidence in the road less traveled.

Karen Eastlund said...

Ruth: Nudges are mysterious. I began to wonder if my nudge to take on my challenge was a holy nudge, or was it me? Or my ego? When I got more and more nudges in the same direction, I felt fairly sure it was a holy nudge. Following nudges does not come easily, but may lead to great blessings. As you say so well...we trust that God knows. We find peace there. Blessings to you in Haiti.