I don’t think I mentioned yesterday that on our way to our vacation spot, my car broke down. Well actually it broke down 4 times before we actually arrived at our destination. Do you hate when that happens? Then read on.
So get the picture here. You’re all excited about your vacation, you are only 37 miles from your destination, driving down the interstate at 70mph (okay, maybe 75), and all of a sudden your car decides to just cut off. Grr. In the middle lane of a three lane highway. Ouch. What follows is not exactly what happened, but I want you to imagine what my conversation with God about this may have sounded like.
Uhh, Lord. My car just quit running.
Yes Dennis, I am aware of that.
Well, I could use a little help here God. I mean, surely you do not want us to have this kind of problem, right?
Exactly what is your problem right now Dennis?
Uhh, my car is not running.
I am aware of that, but why is this such a problem?
I don’t think I understand Lord. This does not look like a problem to you? I mean, I am sitting on the side of the interstate, it is like 95 degrees outside, we have no AC, our friends have had to pull off the road behind us, and we are going to be late getting to our wonderful condo! Not to mention the fact that I wanted to at least get a chance to hit a bucket of balls at the driving range this evening before dark!
Well, it seems as though the plan you made is not exactly following the path you laid, is it? What does this say to you about plans YOU make Dennis?
I guess they are subject to change based upon what you want Lord. Is this one of those lesson times again? Is this one of those events you intend to use to grant me wisdom? I ask only because I have been known to miss your instruction at times.
So are you telling me Dennis that you only listen for my voice SOME of the time?
Uhh, well, you know how it is Lord, I …., I…., well – I guess so. I’m sorry Lord. I just get so busy doing what I think I should do. So I guess you were trying to get my attention then?
I always want your attention Dennis. I have so many things to teach you, if you will just be still and listen. It really does not take that much action on your part. As a matter of fact, the less busy you are in your life, the more you will stay in the moment, which is where I am. So let me ask you some important questions.
Well Lord, I am sitting on the side of the road, with no way to go anywhere, so you have my attention for sure.
Okay. Do you want to hear from me? Do you want to move through life with me as your guide? Do you believe I can guide you every moment? Do you understand that I do have a plan for what is best for you? Are you willing to keep your ear tuned to my voice at all times?
Wow. That’s a lot of questions! Of course the answer in my heart is YES to all those questions, but in my day to day life it is so easy to step away from you Lord. I don’t mean to, but it just happens. How do I stop it?
Don’t overcomplicate it Dennis. Just make sure you take time during the day to be still.
Oh — you mean like my car is right now?
You got it. I may occasionally stop you myself. I use fatigue, spoiled plans, other people, illness, and yes even death at times to speak to you. Just make that your first response to all events is to be still a moment and listen, and I will instruct you.
Okay Lord. So can I start my car now?
Sure Dennis, go ahead.
So them my car started. Amazing. And it ran for 25 more miles. Then it stopped again, 3 more times before we got to our destination, but each time I only had to let it rest a few minutes. I guess God felt we needed to test out what I learned right away. Each time I stopped that day, I listened attentively, and I heard his voice. Some of it had nothing to do with my car, I thought about my blessings, how I take things (like running cars) for granted, etc. My wife and I took the time to chat a bit (always a good thing), and it really did not bother me much at all to be on the side of the road. Strange…
Is your life a bit like this? Does God have to stop you occasionally to get your attention? Do you intentionally look for times to talk with Him outside of a moment of need? I know I am guilty of that, but am determined to stop more often, just to have a chat.
Oh, and by the way, my car breaking down was a mere inconvenience, not a problem. I need to see more things that way, instead of getting upset anytime one of my plans go awry.
Tell me about your conversations with God outside of pleading prayer. Do you have enough of them? I hope so …..