For years, I have been out of the habit of regularly conversing with God. Oh, I acknowledge him in my life, but perhaps I am not the first to find that talking about God and talking to him can all too easily become two separate things.
Once we lose sight of that essential close conversation with God, it takes a little work to get it back. I think God waits to see how serious we are about returning to him.
Then I spent the month of September writing a series of Bible studies for a deadline. For six weeks I spent nearly every available moment of nearly every day, pleading for God in his grace to reveal what I should write.
By the end, I had begun to redevelop the habit of conversing with God continually; and I began to thirst for more.
One night last week, I even thought I almost heard him whisper.
Unfortunately, along with this spiritual reawakening, I also began to develop the habit of spending every available moment glued to my computer. I started reading some amazing blogs that challenge me in my spiritual journey.
To add to my tech overload, I got a smartphone. Now I don’t even have to sit at my desk; I can check my networks from anywhere. I can also read my Bible and make my shopping list on my phone.
Reading the Bible on my phone has been awesome. As I fill my mind with scripture, I am slowly feeling God’s presence more and more. Writing a prayer list on my phone has also been awesome. I am remembering to approach the throne of grace with confidence.
But as with any of my manic obsessions, computer time can turn into too much of a good thing. My family has been suffering from lack of my attention. My messy, dusty house tells the story. And I know it.
So perhaps it was just my guilty conscience that night, whispering to me:
Give your days to your family.
I will give you time to write.
But I suspect God really did whisper to me, for starting the next morning, family matters have demanded all of my available time. My daughter didn’t feel well enough to go to school one morning. But she felt well enough to be getting underfoot, so I took her to school 2 hours into the day.
- 2 hours later, the nurse called me to come get her and her 100.8 fever.
- The next day I took her to the doctor, to find out she had a virus called pleuritis: inflammation of the lung lining, which causes the lungs to rub uncomfortably against the ribs.
- The day after that I took her to the allergist, to find out she has no antibodies against 40 common foods. This is positive news, but somehow each of those events consumed my days.
- The weekend became consumed by spending time with extended family.
- The beginning of this week became consumed by simply cleaning my house and organizing closets, getting rid of old things we don’t want or need anymore.
- Each night I have been busy or so tired I have followed the kids to bed.
And somehow 8 days have slipped away since God spoke.
But instead of feeling beaten down, I feel refreshed. The Bible in 90 Days challenge still nurtures me; the “Unlock the Bible in 30 Days” series still inspires me; and surprisingly, breaking from writing long enough to prioritize my responsibilities to my kids and my house satisfies me.
All this "cleaning house" helps me feel I am removing obstacles that interfere with my ability to hear and receive God's presence. As I seek him for strength to assemble a Bible study series, I feel like I'm getting more and more in tune with his voice again.
I am almost to the point where I can hear him whisper.