A woman from the crowd called out and said to him,
“Blessed is the womb that carried you
and the breasts at which you nursed.”
He replied, “Rather, blessed are those
who hear the word of God and observe it.”
~ Luke 11:27-28
The benchmark I have always used in all my training and teaching engagements is changed behavior. Understanding and intellectual acceptance is important but unless the behavior of the learner or trainee changes, my work as a teacher or trainer has not been done. I have seen students, trainees, and subordinates change their behavior. Some, in minor ways. others, in big impressive ways. And in a few cases, in life-changing ways. For these experiences, I have been grateful.
And so it is in my spiritual life. The ultimate determinant of my prayers and faith is my changed behavior. But this is a more difficult challenge. Looking back, I often get frustrated because I have been praying for the same things and I seem have not changed. I imagine myself as a lump of clay in the hands of the Divine Potter. But often, I feel like a dry clump of soil: hardened and unyielding. Or, sometimes I imagine myself as gold being forged in the fire by the Great Blacksmith. But often, I feel like fool’s gold with pretensions to greatness.
Lord, let me hear your God sincerely and be transformed into the person you want me to be.