Oops! I’m Listening Now God

Well, well, I just wrote an article and had it disappear on me. I thought it was a great article, but apparently this wasn’t something God wanted me to share with you. It was about a few things He and I have been having a discussion on. I think I will try it again leaving some things out. (It worked this time. There were some things I left out, God has a way of being in control doesn’t He)?
God has a way of getting our attention one way or the other. If we won’t listen to Him He will get our attention. That’s what’s been happening to me. I haven’t been listening very well. My grandson one day was supposed to be listening to his father. After a few minutes his father said to him, Son, are you listening to me? My grandson out of the clear blue sky looked at his dad and said, “No it’s going in one ear and out the other.” Now my son-in-law was not pleased with his response. But, aren’t we like that with God sometimes?
God talks to us, but we aren’t listening. We are too busy; we are too occupied with what’s going on in our own little world. God speaks, but we aren’t listening. Once He sees He can’t get our attention He will send friends along to get our attention, but often times that don’t work either. A friend of mine voiced her concerns for me a while back. I pleasantly told her she had nothing to worry about. I was fine.
Apparently, God didn’t think so. It was time for Him to get my attention one way or the other. Often time God knows the only way to do that is to put me flat on my back with some minor (although painful) health issues. This was no exception.
I used this time to read a book entitled, Sensible Shoes. It is four women going on a spiritual journey. They did not know each other before and their stories are all different. They come to be good friends. It’s a really good book. I found myself in each of these four women. God spoke to me through this book. 
When I am down I usually spend my time asking God what it is He wants me to learn from this down time. This time was no different. Early on He showed me a whirlwind; much like a small tornado. He proceeded to tell me I was a lot like this whirlwind. I have been rushing from one project or job to another. I am always finding something to do for somebody. One of my downfalls and one I have had to deal with all my life is being a people pleaser. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10) Now being a people pleaser is not all bad unless it begins to interfere with your relationship with God. When we begin trying to please man instead of God then it becomes a problem. We can’t please everybody all the time, so why try?
I am sure I could have been diagnosed as hyperactive child. I was always busy as a child. I was always doing something, talking or playing, or reading or whatever. Even when I was coloring my mom would jokingly say, “Becky turn off your motor.” I was humming as I was coloring. 
Years later I went to a Christian counselor. One of the things he asked me was if I ever sat and done nothing. Nothing, absolutely nothing? Well, let’s see I sit and watch TV while cross stitching, does that count? No and it was an emphatic no. He meant nothing! I had to say no. That was a practice I was supposed to practice, but never got around to it. 
The world tells us if we aren’t doing something all the time we are missing out. We have phones that will send out emails while we are waiting on the doctor, we have phones who will send text messages out and instantly connect us to the world, we have phones that we can load books on and read, or play games, or visit the latest social sight to see what people are eating or doing, or posting. We are constantly bombarded with advice to be doing something. Don’t just sit there. The world tells us we should be exercising more, eating out more, and on and on. We carry our phone constantly with us and would be lost without them. We protect them at all cost. The world constantly wants to gain our attention. I have to remember this verse daily, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John 2:15
One of the other things God has been dealing with me is my motives for doing things. Why am I doing those things I am doing? Who is getting the glory for the things I am doing and finally who is benefiting from the things I am doing? Why do I think I need to be so busy? Am I just filling time or am I serving God? 
Those are some tough questions we all have to ask ourselves from time to time. I have to remind myself of one of my favorite sayings, “you can be so busy doing for Christ that you can’t be with Christ.” Christ wants a relationship with us. That is all He wants from us; a relationship. We can’t do enough to make God love us; we don’t have to earn His love we just have to spend time with Him. God reminded me once that Moses wasn’t out searching for a burning bush. God brought the burning bush to Moses. Moses didn’t create His job; God brought the job to Him. That’s the way it should be with us. We shouldn’t be searching for our burning bush instead we need to be watching and waiting for God to bring it to us. 
God asked me a simple question one for all of us to ponder. When was the last time you took a walk in your backyard (not for exercise but pure enjoyment) and we talked? When’s the last time you walked along the beach, or in the woods, or on a path? When’s the last time you sat and listened to my birds singing or squirrels playing? When was the last time you were alone with me and did nothing? Sometimes our calendars can be so full there is no time for God. We think we wouldn’t want to disappoint people, but what about disappointing God? What would it be like if we turned off our phones while we are waiting and silently prayed for those around us? Or we spoke words of kindness to them? What would it be like if we left our phones at home and carried on conversations with those who are lonely or lost?
In the next few weeks I will be looking at my motives for doing those things I am doing. Did God call me? Are my motives pure in heart? Are others seeing Christ in me as I do those things? Matthew 6:1 reminds us, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”
So have you thought about why you are doing what you are doing? Who gets the glory when you do it? Are those around you seeing God in what you do? If God called you to take a walk in the garden with Him could you do it or would you feel guilty because there is so much to do? It’s a Mary and Martha story. One felt the need for a relationship while the other felt the need to please (and feed) those around her. God is calling you and me into a relationship, not a working relationship, but a relationship where we stop and we share and we listen.
My whirlwind is moving a little slower now, one day it just may stop. 
Dear God: I am so sorry that I don’t listen. I am sorry I am like my grandson and when you talk it goes in one ear and out the other. Help me to listen to you and those you send my way. Help me to understand my motives. I do want a relationship with you. I know I don’t have to earn your love, I can’t out do you. I know you just want time with me. Thanks for the reminder that it’s all about you and not me. Amen

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