Thursday, October 25, 2007

Who's voice are we listening to?

Most women are just too busy. This is a point for quick
agreement, but the subtle danger involved in our busyness is that most of us never stop to realize that in most cases we can do something about it! We tend to look wildly and unrealistically in every other direction for the cause
of our trouble. Most of us feel like helpless victims where our work and activity schedules are concerned.

For six or seven years, this was entirely true of me. Then one day, when I found myself on the couch in the middle of the day (for the second week in a row) and I wasn't sick, just exhausted, it was time to take inventory.

What was actually important? How much of this activity was God actually instigating? How much of it was the consequence of my own bad judgement and how much was guided by the Holy Spirit within me? A woman's ego often pushes her into a whirlwind life of busyness, too. If you are capable, and if the ladies adore you and heap compliments on your pretty head every time you teach the class or preside at the circle meeting, just be wary. It is easy to mistake the voice of flattery for the voice of God. Especially if you've been busy for so long, there hasn't been a really quiet time to hear God speak. The voice of God is always speaking to us, and always trying to get our attention. But his voice is a "still, small voice," and we must at least slow down in order to listen.

I have been in a busy season. All of my activity seems good and right when evaluated, but I desire the voice of God to be the driving influence on what I do, not others expectations or my need for approval. This is often difficult to discern in the midst of raising children, working and keeping a home. Seven years ago when I found myself in such a state, God did not speak some grand purpose that I was to begin or change in my life, but instead He brought my focus home. He brought me to the table before Him, sitting in His presence, in the midst of my huge to-do list, a brand new congregation to get to know, laundry piles, dirty floors and the multiple un-done projects before me. It was there that I could hear His voice guiding me and showing me what was truly important and what was not. It was at His table that I was satisfied, even with a six month old on my lap, a four and five year old running circles around me and homeschooling a third grader.

This morning as I sat at His table again, seeking His voice to speak to my heart, my life has changed a bit from seven years ago. My oldest child is now in high school, the four and five year who once played for hours (and made huge messes) now attend the same middle school together and we are talking about honesty, kindness, and yes boys (and girls). The baby is now seven and full of questions about trees, rockets, and how many more days until he can have his favorite friend come over. And of course the "baby" is now two and a half and yes most days he runs circles around me (and makes huge messes) and I wonder if I will ever be able to sit for more than fifteen minutes quietly even in the wee hours of the morning. But as I go about the day, I listen, to the "still small voice" that speaks in the moments I stand at the kitchen counter or in front of the huge machines that wash our clothes, or while picking up, putting away, wiping down or driving around town. He speaks ,if we will stop long enough to listen to His voice.


Unknown said...

Thank you for this post. This is a topic that I needed to hear be reminded of once more. Have a blessed day. Karen

Heth said...

Boy did I need to read this! Thank you Chris. I'll be pondering this for the rest of the day for sure!

Linda said...

So very well said Chris. It seems to be a lesson I have to learn over and over. Why is it so difficult for us to believe that God isn't sitting on His throne with a score card keeping track of how much we do? There is something in me that still has that "works" mentality. Finding the balance between sitting and listening and using the gifts He has given us in the way He planned is not an easy thing. I think it requires more listening than doing

Kim said...

There are lots of good things out there, but we must priotorize what things are right for us.

This was a really good post!

Lisa Spence said...

"Easy to mistake the voice of flattery for the voice of God"--oh yes, wise words well spoken.

" I desire the voice of God to be the driving influence on what I do, not others expectations or my need for approval." Me too! May God grant us ears to hear and hearts to obey, wherever He leads and whatever He asks.

Great post, Chris!