Friday, August 27, 2010

Can You Hear Me Now?

Now that school's back in session it is a lot quieter around here. No more fights over who got the Wii games out. No more blaring music pounding down the stairway. No more annoying noises just for the sake of noise.

I might turn on the TV to watch the weather, tune in the radio for a radio program, or pull up Pandora on the computer to listen to some music while I work, but for a large part of the day, there is silence. Well, until 3:12, that is, when the bus rolls to a stop at the end of the driveway.

Have you experienced the feeling of being in an uncluttered room? Maybe in an empty home you are leaving or moving in to? Maybe during a redorating or painting project when the room is cleared of furniture. It is so easy to hear any tiny sound. Nobody's going to be sneaking up on you in there!

Have you ever wondered how to hear from God? Well, the absence of my kids at home reminded me of a lesson in hearing God. Just like an empty room transmits sound so easily, a head and heart void of clutter transmits the still, small voice of God so much better. So in the midst of our noisy, crazy lives, how can we get a little piece of quiet?

1. Turn it off. If you desire to hear God, you are going to need to listen. God is a gentleman and very rarely yells to get our attention. Turn off the cell phone, iPod, TV, computer, radio--whatever is creating noise. The problem isn't really with the gadgets, but the fact that they take captive our attention.

2. Drive in silence. When you find yourself alone in the car, resist the urge to pop out the "Five Million Songs That Kids Love and Moms Loathe" CD and put in a little something more to your liking. Take a few minutes and breathe in the silence. You can spend some of the time in prayer, but don't hog the quiet. Just listen and see if God doesn't have something to say to you.

3. Turn it on. Okay, so maybe you are a person who never gets a moment's silence. I understand. I used to go to the grocery store at 10:00 pm just so I could actually go by myself. So, if that is the place you find yourself in life, don't despair. Get your iPod, a portable CD player, or just a set of ear buds. Now, download or pop in a wordless CD, or just tuck the ear buds (attached to nothing--no body will know) in your pocket. Most people won't bother someone who looks like they are listening to something. The beauty of music without words is that is lets your mind wander and your ears stay open. Keep the volume down low. This is not the time to jive, but an exercise in solitude.

The next time you want to hear from God or just find yourself in need of a little peace, give one of these tricks a try. Can you hear me now?

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