Wow - what a series of lively posts! And to think that, yesterday afternoon, I was thinking this thread wasn’t going anywhere.
Jodi - I’ve had a few things happen to me similar to what happened to you with your sister. I was going to say, ‘well, that’s different,’ but on reflection, I’m less sure. The main difference is the duration of the response - a single action v. an ongoing course of action, and that may be a more important distinction to us than to Him.
Durno - I’ve also ignored callings, due to verious degrees of inertia and timidity. The malaise that settled over my life is difficult to describe - when you know which way you’re supposed to be going, but (due to whatever internal reasons) not going thataway, and you’re trying to convince yourself that everything’s fine anyway…I hope I never put myself through that again.
Tris and bantmof - I think a healthy skepticism has a real place in Christianity in general, and in verifying callings in particular. ‘Test the spirits,’ says 1 John 4:1, and for good reason. There have been occasions on which I thought I was being called to a particular course of action, but it was a lot less clear, after a few days’ reflection, what I was being called to, or whether I was called to anything at all. I think one sign of a genuine calling is its refusal to fade; things that I thought were callings but weren’t have tended to fade like the recollection of a dream. (Maybe that’s a bad analogy, since some people remember dreams pretty well. Not me.)
While this really hasn’t applied to anything I thought was a calling, bantmof, anything that contradicted what I know of God - that He loves all of His creation, and doesn’t desire harm to come to any of us - would set off the alarm bells in my head. If I felt called to do harm to another, or even to rant in their faces, I hope I’d call up the local loony-bin and book a room.
Phaedrus - I’d have to say that the idea of moments when God clearly directs us to a specific course of action seems to continually re-originate in the fact that beleivers keep on having experiences that they believe are God’s direction. I’m sure Jodi, Tris, Durno, and I have grown up with, and/or developed, very different theologies, yet we seem to be describing similar phenomena, so far.
With respect to the Scripturality, or lack thereof, Paul makes numerous references to Christ and/or the Spirit taking up residence in our hearts; nothing says the Spirit is mute. That’s the best I can do on that, but it seems sufficient to me.
Well, real life calls. It’s a Saturday, and a ‘honey-do’ list awaits. Enjoy your day, everyone!