Mack is growing into a young man. I remember wanting to freeze him as a 9 year old boy. He was so helpful and listened so well and loved me so very much and showed it unabashedly. I do NOT want to freeze 12 year old Mack. Nope. If 9 year old boys are precious and kind, 12 year old boys pretty much take every opportunity to reveal the opposite of that. I still love him with every fiber of my being—don’t misread me. But I am ok with the passing of time during this 12 year old year.
I am often telling Mack things to do. And at first they start out sweet, but direct. “Hey, Mack. I need you to take those clothes to your room and put them away.”
(Much time passes and I notice they are still folded in the basket sitting in the living room.)
“Hey, Mack. You may not have understood me before, but I want you to get those clothes, take them to your room, put them in the drawers they belong in, and I want you to do it now.”
(It’s bedtime and we are shutting down the living room, turning off lights, straightening up, etc and I notice the basket of clothes still sitting there.)
“MACK. I was nice enough to collect your nasty, stinky clothes, take them upstairs and wash them, move them to the dryer, fold them and put them in the basket for you—-THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IS OBEY ME. I AM NOT YOUR MAID. I KNOW IT SEEMS LIKE THAT FROM TIME TO TIME, BUT I ASSURE YOU, I AM NOT YOUR SERVANT. SO GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE AND TAKE THESE CLOTHES TO YOUR ROOM. DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!?”
He then proceeds to act like I am a raving lunatic and asks me why I am yelling. He also says, “And by the way, I really don’t like when you ask, ‘Do you hear me?’ It makes me so irritated.”
I mean, this is hysterical to me. You don’t listen and obey me, but you have the audacity to tell me you are irritated by my, “Do you hear me?” Please, tell me more about what I do that irritates you. I would love to know.
In church during worship last Sunday I was aware of the many circumstances that make my life seem complicated, chaotic, out of control, too much to process and too much to handle here on earth. (I am a 9 enneagram, so I greatly value peace and calmness.) I closed my eyes and it was like I saw a line between earth and heaven. Crazy, chaotic, disorder down here on earth and then right across that line was calm and peace and stillness and order. His presence in any situation brings peace that passes understanding. I need His presence.
Sometimes in my life I find it hard to hear God’s voice. There are an abundance of distractions here on earth. Lots of things to do, people to talk to, lists to make, instagram stories to watch (insert eye roll). We need some quiet in our lives to hear from God. NOT because He can’t be heard in the middle of crazy and chaotic. He can. But the quiet helps us lean in and listen. Don’t you think?
This morning I woke up and walked my tired self down the hallway and into the kitchen where coffee was hot and ready thanks to my awesome husband. I was sleepy. My muscles were sore, and I wanted to stay in bed. But not more than I wanted and needed to hear from God. I need His Word, His perspective, His presence, His peace. And I got it this morning. I studied Hebrews 4:14-5:14 and was reminded that I can boldly approach His throne of grace and find grace and mercy to help me in my time of need. And I had some needs.
And God’s voice was so clear and firm and loving and comforting. He said, “Do not worry.” He said, “Remember my faithfulness to you over all of your life.” He offered this: “Rest in Me.” He reminded me to “Look at what you can’t see. I am always working. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. My ways are higher than your ways. Trust Me.” I wrote what I heard down in my journal.
And then, before I closed my journal and moved on into the day before me, it was like He said, “Do you hear me?”
Like I do with Mack when I am saying things but he is not acting on them—God was encouraging me to pause, take in these truths, believe them and put those beliefs into action.
Maybe you find yourself dull of hearing today. What are the truths God is speaking to your heart? Do you hear Him?
In The Listening Life by Adam S. McHugh, he says, “In prayer we offer our ears and whole selves to God, in all of life’s contingencies, whether we’re in a quiet chapel or a noisy crowd. We do not have to fight for particular situations or seek out the perfect atmosphere for listening. Listening is not required for the spiritual aristocracy. Listening is about more than straining to hear voices; it’s about preparing the conditions of our hearts, cultivating an opennes inside us. In this way, listening is a posture, one of availability and surrender. We don’t control how or when God will speak, but we can control the acoutstics that receive the sound. We want to prepare an inner place that is open and hospitable to God’s voice. That inner place requires humility, patience, attentiveness and trust. We must have hearts already surrendered in ourder to recognize his voice when he calls.” (page 81,82)
Just as Mack has a responsibility to hear and receive what I, as his mom, say to him, I have a responsibility to hear and receive what God says to me. Is the soil of my heart soft and pliable and ready to receive the seed? Or is the soil filled with thorns that choke out His needed Word in my life?
“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 13:9