Wednesday, April 23, 2014

listening static-free {April: one word: listen}

{Each month this year I'm posting on my one word for 2014: listen.  Here are April's thoughts... To read the rest of the posts in this series, click here.}

I’ve been thinking a lot about tuning in.  How to be like a dial on the radio finding that sweet spot without any static, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons suddenly piercing sweetly into the room.  

In the mornings, in the quiet, I can hear Jesus’ voice clearly.  A whisper in my heart, a quiet nudging as I read His Word.  Think about this.  This is you.  You need this today.  Pay attention.  I’m aware, attentive.  My heart is quiet.  I’m listening.

But in the swish and rush of the day - school-time, lunch-time, errand-time, talking, organizing, accomplishing - my tuner starts to wobble.  The static of worry, distractions, and self-induced stress creeps in and I start swirling from one thing to another.  My heart rate mounts, my voice gets louder, my awareness of Him starts to disintegrate.  Soon the static muffles His voice altogether, and then I’m flailing wildly.  In those moments, not much I do is “what I see the Father doing” - mostly, I’m just trying to survive on my own, and I make everyone miserable.  

When I let the static overwhelm, when I tune out His still, small voice, I stumble and flail.  

When I’m tuned in, I can move softly, deliberately.  I can balance.  I can speak gently.  I can wait.  I can love.  I can serve.  I can keep my arms, ears, heart open for what the day brings.  

So, the big question is, how do I tune in?

I like Ann’s words for this: “I can slow the torrent [of time] by being all here.  I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment.  And when I’m always looking for the next glimpse of glory, I slow and enter.” (One Thousand Gifts, 68)

When I’m listening for the next whisper of His voice, I slow down and enter this moment.  I open my ears, and listen. The static fades away as I tune in…  

Fries sizzle in oil.  The oven ticks, baking hot dog buns.

A door slams.  Small feet pound the hall.  Ben, in all his 4-year-old urgency, bursting in to get water for himself, his brother, and a friend.  “Mom!  I need-ta get drinks RIGHT NOW!”  Water trickles into plastic cups.  He’s serving.  See?  He’s getting it.  

My daughter’s voice in the doorway.  I focus, like a camera zooming.  Her face, her dimple, sand all over her mouth, round pot belly under striped shirt, covered in dirt.  “‘Meah.  ‘Meah.”  She’s imperious, one little hand beckoning.  Come here.  Come to me.  Be with me.  See what I’m seeing.  Be all here.

I let dinner take care of itself for a minute.  Tune in.  Hear His voice.  Fall into the moment.  And the moment is static-free, sweet grace.


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