2016-12-14 - Trust Your Instincts
When I was in elementary school, I would occasionally end up in the nurse’s office. The only time I specifically remember a visit, was one time my stomach was irritated. It was a temporary problem, if you know what I mean, and I was then back to class for the rest of the day. Before sending me back to class, the nurse took my temperature and called my mother to ask if I should perhaps go home instead. After the nurse explained the chain of events as she knew them, and told her I had no fever, my mother was then asked what should happen next. To which Mom said “what did Debbie say about how she feels?” She went on to explain that Dr. Wolfson, my childhood pediatrician, felt it was very important to listen to what I was saying, because if I didn’t feel like I was okay to go back to class, I would tell my teacher. And I liked being at school, although occasionally my stomach would get irritated if I ran around at recess too much right after lunch. I suspect that is what made me sick that day. He was training me to trust my instincts regarding what my body was telling me, and to this day, for the most part, I quickly know if it’s a situation that I need immediate medical care, to be more cautious and rest, or just pause for a bit and get back to daily living.
I have seen a couple different doctors in the past few years, which caused me to briefly doubt my instincts when it came to simple things such as 1) an eyelash in an eye described as a potential sign of a another major disease. Instead, two weeks later upon recheck, an eyelash was pulled out, and pain was then gone. 2) A blood level slightly off the normal range (on its own means very little) on a panel, with no other symptoms, which was misconstrued as a potential fatal disease. I think that the cattle herding version of healthcare, as I think of it, can make instincts difficult to develop on the patient side, as well as the doctor side. We need training in this, which can only come with time spent in the company of a doctor that can consistently learn about each patient as individuals. Instead, people doubt themselves, and spend too much time reading symptoms with no understanding.
Likewise we also need training in trusting spiritual instincts. Such an endeavor comes from learning where our strength resides, in the Father who created us. In order to develop instincts, we need to learn the basics. In the case of our physical bodies, each person can have idiosyncrasies just as a mechanical appliance. If we learn the basic operational functions, along with our own normal functions, then we can make instinctual decisions when something seems amiss.
Similarly with spirituality, after we have learned more about God and what he’s about as one of his children, what he expects, how He wants to be in communion with us in prayer, and what truth is (the word of God), then we can develop instincts, also, when something is spiritually amiss. We might encounter a teaching or personal situation in which something seems either false, or at the very least confused. A developed aptitude for recognizing the truth can save us from a bad decision or hasty life change that goes against God’s teachings. For this reason, we need to develop instinct, if we don’t have a natural aptitude or mature in it as life continues. And just like Dr. Wolfson taught me with my earthly body, let God lead you in developing and trusting your instincts with your spiritual one. He will never let you down.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
All scripture references from King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted