I consider myself a bandwagon Christian. By this, I mean on Sunday I am all, "Wooo! Jesus! I love you, Lord! Praise God!" Then Monday-Saturday I get on with my life that is being a mom, wife, and nurse. No Bible reading, hardly any prayer, everything is on the back burner. I'm busy, ya'll! I don't have time to add more to my already busy schedule.
Several weeks ago, though, my Pastor did a sermon about how do you know when God is speaking to you. One of the things he said that really struck me is how often I open God's word to hear his message. Well, I don't. My Bible is neatly tucked away on my bookshelf, in a nice protective Bible carrying case. I don't know WHY it's in a case, because it certainly isn't going to get harmed if I never move it off the shelf. But the case sure looks nice! God speaks to us through the Bible and I never allow his message to get to me because I never READ it. How simple is that?
The other thing I learned is that when we have a feeling, or something nagging at our hearts and our minds to do something, we need to do it, as it might be God telling us to do it. I am EXCELLENT and shush-ing God, though. I can put his directions for my life right out of my head and never think twice about it.
Coincidentally (or maybe not?) I have had two instances where I think God is realizing I am not getting it. I am not listening but choice. The first was when we had a very sad death on my floor at work. A lot of people were pretty upset so the hospital chaplain came to speak to us. Not knowing anyone's religious affiliations, she didn't preach to us, but simply reminded us of how much of an impact we have on our patient's lives and if we ever need someone to talk to, they are there for us 24/7. Then she passed around a little bag and explained that the cards in the bag were all different, and we were to reach into it and pull out a card and that was our message for the day. I was the first to reach in and could feel a whole stack of cards. I jumbled them around and when I pulled one out, it said "Silence" on one side. The other side read, "I give you the gift of SILENCE so that you may hear My voice inside yourself." I'll be honest, I was disappointed. I wanted something more uplifting. Silence? Do I talk to much or something? I tucked amongst my pocket full of stuff and went on with my day.
Just this past weekend, I had an in depth conversation with another Christian and co-worker, and she talked about how much peace she achieves by stopping and meditating. Really LISTENING to what God wants her to know. She kept telling me, over and over, how important this was. This was when I finally noticed the trend. Stop. Listen. There are messages for me, I just need to receive them.
Two times throughout all of this, I had these moments where I had a strong urge to do something for someone, totally out of the blue. I tried to push the idea out of my head, but the desire to follow through was so insanely strong, I had to do it. One instance occurred at Meijer. I had to explain to the cashier, "I can't explain why, but I need you to ring my order up REALLY FAST. I know this sounds strange, but please hurry." This was so out of character to me, but what I was about to do was so strong, I absolutely HAD to do it. On my drive home, I called my mom to tell her about it, but left out any mention of it being a "God moment" because I don't know how people feel about stuff like that and I don't like to be preachy to people without knowing if they want to hear it. Want to hear something even better? My mom, after hearing my story, said, "I have a God moment story for you, too!" ...so she heard my story, realized it was God speaking, and followed up with her own moment. Never once did I mention I felt it was God telling me to do something.
I hear you, God. And I will try harder to listen. REALLY listen.