Thursday, October 16, 2014

An Alarm-Clock Crash

We woke with a start that morning. The loud crash from someplace close could not be ignored. It wasn't a dream. Bill, Lexie (woof), and I all jumped. Sleep was history.

Bill and Lexie--the brave ones--went to investigate. Had a bear knocked over our grill or perhaps the large barrel that sits outside the bathroom window?

No, the grill outside still stood.

Bill peered out the bathroom window; the barrel was upright and unmoved. Nothing seemed out of place.

My courage found itself and I joined the search. What was the cause of the loud bang?

I walked into the bathroom too (the noise originated from that direction); immediately I saw--the source of the crash was obvious! The shower curtain still attached to the rod lay on the tile floor.

The bathroom in a cozy mountain cabin is small. Why had Bill not seen the problem? He stood only inches away from the misplaced curtain when he checked outside.

He didn't notice because he was looking in a specific place ... outside; and he was looking for a specific answer ... something like the work of a bear.

If he had looked toward his feet, he would have seen the culprit.

The teaching of the story came right away. Isn't that how I often go to my Bible? I'm looking for something specific. I'm on a hunt. There are loud noises in my life and I. want. answers.

I have a quiet time plan. I have a reading program. My prayer journal is neatly outlined. And those straight and narrow plans can keep me from really meeting with God, from tasting and seeing that the Lord is good.

But sometimes, just sometimes, I lay my plans aside. God initiates; I hear his voice; I follow his lead. He knows me better than I know myself. Often, very often, his wisdom speaks in ways I had not considered.

I am learning to listen, to let God speak; it is good.

Our friendly neighborhood bear
I've developed a habit of starting my time with God with what I affectionately call sit and stare. In normal language that means I sit and enjoy just being quiet, being with God without my agenda determining our conversation. I haven't opened my Bible yet. It's a time of letting go of the cares I'm carrying and enjoying the quiet God created. Often in these times, God whispers, he takes the lead and prods me to a certain portion of scripture.

Other times in those minutes I'm reminded of a conversation with a friend; God leads through that chat. Or perhaps it was that sentence I can't get out of my mind from a recent book, or the words of a favorite hymn.

God has many ways to lead me to his Word; to welcome me to his heart. And he loves the privilege of initiating the conversation.

How refreshing! The spiritual disciplines are building a friendship. Oh the joy of not being controlled by a check-chart. I'm amazed by how much I missed when I focused on my plan.

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

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