“Today, if you hear his [God’s] voice, do not harden your hearts.”
--Hebrews 3:15 (NRSV)
God speaks to us all the time. The universal Source of Life, that I call the Divine Mother and that Christians call the One God, is constantly prompting us and giving us advice on how to act, what to say, and even what to think. Our Source of Life, whatever we call It or Him or Her, always wants us to live life to the fullest. God is all about life, true spiritual life. This divine protector always responds to our calls for mercy and guidance.
Sometimes, as certain Christian and Islamic traditions believe, God sends angels to carry out the compassionate actions we need to make us safe and free and full of joy.
There is a problem, though. We often don’t believe that God is always compassionately present to us. We don’t believe that the Divine even cares about our tiny little requests. And too, we often just ignore God’s voice. We ignore its presence in our conscience, like when we hear our conscience say that we shouldn’t have the chocolate cake and we quietly say to ourselves instead, “Don’t say no to the cake because you will offend the cook.” or “This sweet thing won’t disturb my digestion like it usually does.” That inner prompting to not have the dessert is God’s compassionate nudging so that we don’t eat something that harms our body.
Sometimes God’s voice is the response we hear inside ourselves when we non-chalantly ask a question like, “I wonder where I put my glasses?” or “When was I supposed to do that?” If we would just pause and let the answer to the question echo in our heads, we would then be able to get the answer that we need. That voice is often a gentle whisper or a subtle flash of memory.
This happens to me whenever I ask a question or look for some misplaced item. A distinct response in the form of a memory or inner insight or soft, still utterance emerges in my mind. Sure enough, when I immediately listen to that inner prompting, I find my misplaced item.
Most of the time “hardening our hearts” is not really closing off our hearts and saying “God, get out of my life!” It is just thinking that we are alone and in charge of our own lives. It is feeling afraid in the situation and wanting to preserve our identity or our ego. It is thinking that there is no support for our lives or not realizing that the wisdom of the Divine is always present in us.
This is especially true in major decisions. All we need do is ask the question—even a major one, like should I have any more kids? Or should I take that job offer? Or is this the right person to marry? We just need to quietly ask the question and still our mind and wait for the response. Deep within God will guide us in the right way. The Divine Mother will guide us along the right path, especially if we have a calm, peaceful, clear mind.
The tricky thing is, though, after we get the answer, we must act on it one way or the other. Then we will not be “hardening our hearts.” We will be hearing and acting on God’s voice.