Ruido Noise                                                             Photo via Wikimedia Commons, By Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez

I was thinking about high school recently.

I was imagining being in my chemistry class, and asking the teacher about diagraming sentences.

(I did find diagraming sentences far more interesting than chemistry…although there was the one time when that one girl smelled some chemical without “wafting”..that was pretty cool…she was the same girl who pushed my face into the water fountain in kindergarten…weird about what kind of stuff sticks in my brain.)

Anyways, back to my point. I have no idea if my chemistry teacher knew anything about diagraming sentences, but I imaging him saying something like, “You’ll have english class in two periods. You can ask about that then. Let’s talk about chemistry now.

(The analogy is not a perfect one, because my chemistry teacher probably would have started talking about the Buffalo Bills or Buffalo Sabres instead of chemistry…but I digress.)

And of course, that’d be the correct response (the chemistry one, not the Sabres one). In order to prepare myself for the next project/experiment/exam, I should listen to what he was teaching about chemistry.

I could of course stay focused on diagraming sentences, and if I did, I would  basically guarantee two things:

  • I would learn nothing about diagraming sentences from my chemistry teacher, because that is not what he was talking about,
  • I would miss out learning anything about chemistry, because I was focused on something else…which would have a negative impact later on. (like not hearing the part about wafting and not smelling the chemicals directly)

Sooo…who cares?

The reason I started thinking about this this weekend was I was thinking about listening to God.

I’m sure for you, there are some seasons when you just know the Father is leading, or what he is saying, just seems clear. You’re asking for direction, and you very clearly have a sense that he’s pointing one way or another.

And I’m guessing there are other times…times where you want to yell out, “Would you please just say something!!”

Now, if I was listing things that I believe about God, one of them would be that he is always communicating. The problem of course is that I am not always a very receptive hearer.

We could probably come up with several reasons why I, (or you) don’t always hear, but I want to focus on one that relates to my high school example from above.

Because if I had to flesh out my belief that the Father is always communicating…one item I would need to add about that, is that while he is always communicating, he is not always communicating about what it is that I’d like to talk about at that moment.

I may be wrestling with this big next step I’m thinking about taking, and he’s talking about some other thing that still needs resolution.

I don’t think it’s an indication that what I’m wrestling with isn’t important…but there is this other thing that needs to be looked at & wrestled with first.

And I think often the fact is, if I’d deal with the thing God’s actually talking about, the thing I’m consumed with thinking about would end up getting resolved.

Just like with my high school example, when I get focused on something other than what the Father is talking about:

  • I miss out on what he is actually talking about at this point,
  • I’m still not learning anything about the issue that I think is really important,
  • I can sometimes convince myself that he is actually not communicating currently and perhaps even not all that interested in what I’m thinking about.

So this morning, I went out for a long walk which I started simply by asking, “so, what is it that you’d like to talk about.” And while I can’t say I received an immediate answer, it did seem like a better plan than yelling, “Would you please just say something!!” over and over.

I’d love to hear what you do when you find yourself in the same place.