- “I am on the phone! I won’t tell you again to be quiet!” I screamed, hopefully away from the receiver. Then I continued in a sweeter, softer voice, “5:30 sounds just fine. We’ll be there.” My three year old, despite my increased volume of voice, was still in my lap. As I hung up my phone she got up and walked into her room, humming happily. I’m not sure what possesses children to do this, but they all do. If I really want to get my child’s attention all I need to do is either pick up the phone and call someone, play with the baby joyfully, or attempt to have an adult conversation with my husband.
- As we drove along the road, destination frozen yogurt (with all the toppings, yes please), I had the radio turned up. I was enjoying a favorite praise and worship song on the radio. The DVD player is usually on, and the accompanying voices of Max and Ruby or Doc McStuffins fill the air. I was enjoying the nice change and was getting into it a little bit, about to raise my hand into the air in agreement with the words I was hearing, when from the back I hear my three year old daughter. “Mom, turn down the radio so you can hear the words that are coming out of my mouth!” I smiled despite it all, and turned down the volume. I asked, “Ok. Is that better? What would you like to talk about?” She was silent for a moment, and I was distinctly aware that she had no particular topic in mind even as she had fought for my attention. She reached for a quick save, “I love you momma.”
- As I pulled into the parking space and cut off the engine, I stared vacantly into the distance, feeling the warm sunshine on my face. I realized I hadn’t particularly felt like I could hear God communicating with me today. In that moment, He said, “Have you been listening?” The conversation was broken by my daughter’s insistence, “I want to go in now!”
Later, at home, with two girls napping, I fell back into prayer as I washed dishes. I realized something as I prayed. I’ve been wrong. I admit it. I confess. At first I thought, maybe I’m not hearing God so well today because I’m so busy. Both the girls and myself are fighting off a small cold, making them fussy and me foggy. I’ve been packing for vacation for two days straight. That must be it. Then I realized something. I was listening selfishly. I’ve been asking God to speak to me about me. We live in such a self-entitled culture. We’re like a bunch of three year olds running around this world wanting to know what’s going to be done for us. It’s a huge problem in our government, our schools, and our homes. Today I realized it was a problem in my spiritual life. “God, tell me what to do so I can be happier and more blessed?” That wasn’t my exact wording, but that’s what it all came down to in the end. I was in constant prayer, but for me, myself, and I. Even when I tried to tell myself I wasn’t. “God, what can I do for your kingdom?,” rather than, “God, what would You have me do for your kingdom? How do You desire to use me?” Perhaps God wants to use us in the very place where we are not our happiest. It’s not about me alone. It’s so much bigger than that. While I am His child, and I can always find comfort in His lap, I can’t selfishly behave, vying for His affection and His blessings as if the world revolves around me. I still believe God loves us so dearly, and does desire to bless us richly, but how can He if we’re interrupting Him? “God, God, God, I need, need, need. Me, me, me. Can you hear me God?” He can, but can we hear Him? Maybe we need to change the way we’re listening. Maybe His direction, His voice to us, isn’t always about us. As I sit at a table in a coffee shop asking Him what He wants me to do about my personal situation, maybe, at that moment, He just wants me to go talk to that woman in the corner by herself, and speak blessings to her. I admit it. Lately I’ve been listening all wrong. It’s not all about me, and what God is doing with me. Some times, most times, it’s so much more than that.
God forgive me. Show me your way, your desires. I pray that I may hear you for others, for your kingdom, your church, not just for me.
That is all 🙂