Hearing God and being able to follow His guidance in your life is a massive part of growing spiritually. So how do we get some quiet in our lives? Predictably, it’s not an easy thing to do, but it is possible and it is worth the effort in the end. Patty Ross, former executive with Nike and Apple and 4word Board Member, talks about what silent retreats and making time for daily quiet have helped her achieve in her career and personal life.
From Patty: “Tools To Reset”
Most of the major mistakes and blunders in my life have come from making impulsive decisions. Trust me; I have made many in my journey. These impulsively bad decisions have come at high cost or regret, as I’ve been held accountable for my choices and sometimes suffered severe consequences for sin.
As followers of Jesus, we have a pathway to help us avoid such impulsive mistakes. At the suggestion of my spiritual director, I have tried to implement a four-pronged litmus test to my decision making trying to find God’s guidance in my choices. I have used the analogy of buoys. Most harbors have a system of buoys to guide you safely from a mighty unforgiving ocean and rocky shoreline into the safe harbor. In life, I use buoys when trying to make a secure, wise, and godly choice. I line up four buoys, and if I can pass all four, I move forward with confidence that it will be a godly decision.
Here are those buoys:
Buoy 1: Does this decision line up with what the Bible teaches?
Buoy 2: Have I really prayed about it?
Buoy 3: What is the Holy Spirit telling me?
Buoy 4: (the hardest) Seeking godly wisdom & counsel.
If all four buoys line up, I move forward. If one buoy is off, I do not choose that path. What you must be careful of is if the first three buoys (the Bible, prayer, and the Holy Spirit) can be manipulated by your desire to make this decision go your way. That is why the fourth buoy is so difficult. Godly counsel can put the “kibosh” on a decision, even if I want it badly. But the right godly people can give you wisdom, direction, and a warning that can protect you from running your life onto the rocks. They help you respond to decisions, not react to them. The key is trusting the process to make a godly decision and sticking to that decision once made.
I am thankful for God’s grace in the decisions that I have made that were impulsive and a big mistake. I try not to beat myself up for them, but to learn from them and be wiser and more cautious in the future.
Patty Ross is a corporate board director for two public companies, and before that, Patty served as an Executive Advisor at Apple. Before Apple, she was at Nike for more than 30 years, including her last role as VP of Global Workplace Design and Connectivity. Patty specialized in strategy development, leadership development, talent management, employee engagement, culture shifts, change management, innovation, and design thinking, and executive team development. She was also the founder and executive sponsor of Nike’s Global Women’s Diversity Network. Patty is married and a member of the 4word Board of Directors.