Trust your instincts….or not?

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Photo credit: Goce Risteski /

As we navigate our way through life we encounter numerous obstacles, challenges and paths, many of which are daunting and paralyzing, hindering our ability to move forward.

People look to many places to help them in this quest. Anything from horoscopes, Tarot cards or palm reading, consulting with ancestors, clairvoyants, lucky charms, through to coaches, gods and intellectual mentors are sought.

One source, primarily “self-orientated”, is self belief. To some degree, I embrace the idea of us having a positive view of who we are, what’s inside us (gut feeling) and our potential. But I do have some questions around self-belief. Our thinking and paradigms are limited, due to our circumstances, past and present, and need something/someone beyond ourselves to illuminate our way ahead.

Some time ago a soft drink company used a slogan for its new advertising campaign. “Trust your instincts, Obey your thirst”. This phrase, accompanied by “cool people” in idyllic tropical surroundings, made for an attractive campaign.  The sight (in slow motion for effect), of vibrant “6 pack” endowed youth, pouring their drink liberally down their wide open mouths invoked instant thirst. The problem is those drinks give short, sharp, energy gratification, needing continual replacement

Great job done by the advertising agency and happy soft drink manufacturers.

After high school I joined an Air Force in a country at war. During our flying training, we were taught to fly at night and in extreme weather conditions, including zero visibility. When learning “instrument flying” from our instructors, we wore  cumbersome headgear with side panels extending about 30 cm from our foreheads….think blinkers!! When fitted, we had no view outside, focusing our attention on the instrument panel. This taught us, when in limited visibility, to fly relying only on instrument readings.

This is a particular taxing exercise as the instruments would often totally conflict with body instincts. After most exercises I would return totally drained, mentally and physically, often  sweating off kilograms! Those advertised soft drinks went down well!

One night I experienced the true intensity of this battle between self and instruments. As cadet pilots some of us were airborne on a stormy night during a navigation exercise. After half an hour flight time, I encountered increasingly stormy and cloudy weather. The training “kicked in” and I reverted to follow the readings on my instruments. However, soon the battle began. My body told me I was flying straight and level but the instruments indicated a steady descending turn to the right, losing 400 feet a minute! My body and instruments contradicted each other, until I became totally disorientated. Experiencing Vertigo I shook my head and obeyed the instruments, but by then had descended 2000 feet and was totally “unsure of my position”………Pilots never use the L-O-S-T word :-)

My “natural instincts” lied to me, leading to potential tragedy, had I not totally believed the “truth” of the instruments.

As a follower of Christ, despite my leaning to my own instincts, my source of wisdom and guidance comes from Him. I don’t always get it right, but feel confident that He, as my creator, has a better idea than even me as to what my future holds and what my destiny is. When I face storms, I choose to believe His “Truth”, especially when that opposes what “I” tells me.

What about you….trust your instincts or do you seek your decision making in other ways?  Please comment.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

8 thoughts on “Trust your instincts….or not?

  1. I like Sue’s comments that as women we have instincts which need to be trusted – are these a gift from God I wonder? So often we make mistakes because it is sometimes hard to know whether it is God’s will or our will but fortunately we have a loving and forgiving and VERY patient God who forgives time and time again and never gives up trying to show us HIS way.

    • Interesting thoughts Jenny. We are blessed to have the grace of God operating in our lives when we “miss the mark” but we do need to be intentionally seeking his guidance and will for our lives as we move forward and make decisions. Thanks for your contribution to an intriguing subject

  2. Another good thought provoking blog…..I’m thankful that I know who is guieding me through life and yet sometimes, us women, have that unusual “gut “feeling needs to be taken notice of:):)
    Anyway I’m also so thankful that you obeyed your instruments as a cadet pilot, cause if you hadn’t, where would I be now????????

  3. Wow, what a great analogy. So often I can feel like I am not in the place I am supposed to be or doing what I think is best. But the truth is, I am only going by my own feelings then and realize I am right where God wants me to be. God is teaching me to trust Him in every area and circumstances of life. That means through the calm but even more so in the storms, because He is my navigator and in the storms I really need a navigator to guide me along the way. Your writing is always so inspiring and encouraging, I enjoy reading what you say. You are a person I admire and look up to.

    • Thanks for your comments and feedback Julie. It is a constant challenge to seek Him in times of calm and storms for sure. Your obvious recognition of your need for Him to guide will be honored by Him..I truly believe that.

      Thanks for your comments re inspiring writing…I am trusting God to use me for purposes and to His glory through my writing. In fact it is the way I feel He is leading me to be a blessing and inspiration and encouragement to others.

      I appreciate you being involved with the comments and know we can build each other in faith through doing this. God bless sister!

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