Seeking advice is a good thing, especially if it leads to clearer sight and purposeful action. Yet there is a hidden side to advice. It is always contextual, usually from the perspective of the person giving. This doesn’t make the advice anything less than what it is. It also doesn’t make it any more. I find two keys are important to unlocking the potential and wisdom others are willing to share.
First, never ask for advice unless you are prepared to hear, reflect, and then take action in context of whatever comes. Advice is, by its very nature, one of life’s “silver bullets”. It can be, not automatically though, a rare gift from one to another; Divinity to man/woman, or fellow traveler to one sharing the journey.
Second, always be open to what comes, mindful that each piece comes with a setting with textures, color, and context. This doesn’t imply anything. Advice is never tainted, it is simply advice. Advice can be biased, filled with agendas, or even manipulative. It can also be compassionate, insightful, and full of unconditional comradeship.
An example of the latter is the advice given to those filled with self; “head for the hills, hide in the caves from the terror of God, from his dazzling presence.” (Isaiah 2.10) This is probably very appropriate given the context however it is not applicable to those seeking to live compassionate lives within the community.
The question you and I need to ask ourselves is twofold. First, where do we want to live? In a community or with one’s self? With lives full of mercy, forgiveness, and nurture or competing in a game of winner take all? Intentional lives with purpose or reactive wanderings in a wilderness?
Today is full of uncertainties, pitfalls, and potential obstacles. I have no idea which course is the ideal. I do know the benefits which come from sharing the journey with fellow Seekers. Divinity’s advice will be here. I hope I can be open to hearing, reflecting, and intentionally taking action. The invitation to join me is always here.
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