As students file into the classroom, hand out supplies and have them begin to make a list of people in their lives they go to for advice and guidance. They can write beside each one what makes that person stand out as a trusted confidant. After they’ve had a chance to think and write, ask:
- Who do you go to for guidance in your life? Why? (Let students share their lists; if time is a factor, choose a few volunteers.)
- How do you choose the right person to listen to? (Some possible answers: You choose someone you think is smart and who makes good decisions for themselves; choose someone older; etc.)
Sometimes it can be tricky to know which voices to listen to. How do we really know who’s telling us good information and who isn’t?
Recently, a clip featuring a computer-generated voice went viral. When some listeners heard the clip, they heard “Yanny.” When others listened to the clip, they heard “Laurel.” This sparked an internet debate of what was actually being said. No one could agree, yet most people had an opinion, and they were all certain they had the correct answer. Who was right?
It’s your turn to decide. What do you think is being said: “Yanny” or “Laurel”? Let’s take a listen. You may need to play this brief video more than once to give your students an opportunity to make their own decision [:31].
Yanny v Laurel video: which name do you hear? – audio
After playing the video, tell your students that many listeners weighed in on the debate and all of them were 100% certain their answer was correct. Have your students take a vote to decide what animal they think it is. After voting, tell them so many people had an opinion on what they thought was being said, that more information was released to clarify the audio clip. In fact, it’s the individual person’s ears and what sound frequencies they hear best that determines whether they hear “Yanny” or “Laurel.” Both are technically correct!
- How many of you were positive you were right in your decision, even if you were wrong? Why were you so sure? (Answers: I just knew what it was; I had a feeling; I can’t believe I was wrong—I was so sure, etc.)
- Did you listen to anyone around you or what other viewers thought before making your own decision? (Answers: I listened to everyone’s thoughts before deciding for myself; no, I decided on my own without help, etc.)
We have so many voices in our lives pulling us in all different directions and every voice is convinced their way is the best way. How can we know for certain? Which voice is right? None of us want to make a bad decision. So, how do we live life making the right ones?
In today’s lesson we’re going to see how Abraham’s servant dealt with this same dilemma. He was in charge of making an important decision and wanted to make sure he received God’s guidance in the matter. The servant couldn’t get this decision wrong, it was too big. Let’s see how the servant was able to decipher God’s direction from his own and what that means for you and me.