Teachable Spirit

By Rev. Sandra Caldwell-Williams (Union Presbyterian Seminary, M.Div., M.A.C.E. ’06)

Often during trying circumstances, I pick up pen and paper or go to my computer and begin to release my anxieties using words. In March of 2014 amid some trying personal circumstances, the Romans 12:2 passage spoke to me loud and clear, and because I am often a very hardheaded daughter, God also sent a longtime friend to reinforce the message! The following is a recap of that time:

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2 NLT).

I had a wonderful conversation with someone I have known for many years; yet it seems through our adversities over the last three (3) years, we do a lot of what I call “wisdom swapping.” We were both going through tumultuous times, but not at the same time. Isn’t it amazing how God places people in our lives at the right time? Yesterday while sitting in the balcony after church she re-enforced something that I always share with others – “Have a teachable spirit!!!” If God can make a jackass talk, then truly God can speak in innumerable ways to anyone who is willing to listen; and I pray that I stay hypersensitive to God-speak, whether it is a bald eagle in the top of a tree; a 7 year old speaking in a very simple way; the sage advice of an elder who has never matriculated beyond early elementary grades; or my friend who is spiritually discerning and highly intellectual.

I shared something with my friend that God had been pressing in my spirit, and she talked me off the ledge of trying to take control of the situation myself to get things moving!

Thank God for those whom God has planted in my life for this season; and I truly thank God for a teachable spirit!! A teachable spirit allows me to sit quietly and listen – to God and to those God sends to me. A teachable spirit helps me to tune into the spiritual directives of the all-knowing God. A teachable spirit allows me to surrender my perceived power and give in to the directives of the all-powerful God. A teachable spirit grounds me on a solid rock, rather than wandering off into quicksand. A teachable spirit helps me understand, though I think I am on the right path, God alone knows the path God has chosen for me in this season.

So, I pray daily for wisdom, knowledge, understanding and discernment, which I have learned are the cornerstones of the foundation of a teachable spirit.

So, God, I wait on your transformative power to change the way I think and therefore change the way I act and react so that I will know your will which is always good, pleasing and perfect!! AMEN.

*Rev. Sandra Caldwell Williams (Union-PSCE, M.Div., M.A.C.E. ’06)