Grabbing my list and my keys, I rushed out the door in an attempt to beat the heat that already threatened the day. As I drove towards the garden center, I was deep in thought as I mentally reviewed the items on my list. Let me see now, Begonias, both red and white; Verbena, purple not red; Salvia, blue; Asparagus fern for the patio. What else do I need?
My children often tease me about how I can get very lost in my thoughts. “Mom, can you hear me?” “Hello, Mom, are you there?” In exasperation they make one final attempt, “Mom, there are geese flying through our living room.”
“Huh?” Finally I jerk my head in their direction. “What did you say?”
Over the years I have developed an amazing ability to tune out the noise around me in order to focus on my own thoughts. I have mastered this skill with incredible genius, the result of having raised four children.
I had been driving for several minutes before I noticed the voice on the radio. Talk radio, evidence that my husband was last in my car. I reached over to turn it off, preferring the silence. In that moment I realized that even in the silence I was often so deep in my own thoughts that I couldn’t hear God, even if He choose to speak to me over the radio. It was then that I imagined doing just that—turning on the radio and hearing God speak to me.
“It’s Me—God. I thought this might be a good time for us to talk. Am I coming in loud and clear?”
“Yes, God, I can hear you.”
“Good. First of all, I wanted to tell you that you’ve done a good job raising your children. Although, as you know, that’s a job that lasts a lifetime.”
“Yes, Lord, I’ve figured that out.”
“You have also enjoyed a career that has been a passion of yours,” God continued.
“Yes, I have, Lord, but even then I always knew that there was something else. Something I was supposed to do with my life, but I couldn’t figure it out. I prayed to you many times, Lord, but I never heard anything.”
“You didn’t hear anything?”
“Well, sometimes I thought that I did but it wasn’t the answer I was looking for.”
“Ahhh, that is a common problem. Often my children come to me with questions, but they only listen for what they want to hear instead of what I have to say. Consequently, they do not hear my voice. Although my children frequently think they know what is best for them, only I really know what that is.”
“It’s taken me many years to figure that out, Lord,” I admitted.
“So tell me, what was it that you may have heard Me say at times?” God persisted.
“I thought I heard you say that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing at the time. I was raising my children and that would be the most important job I could ever do.”
“Indeed, I did. But is that all you heard?” God said with infinite patience.
“There were a few times I thought I heard you say that it was not time for that. But I didn’t know what THAT was.”
“Do you remember several months ago when you woke up one morning and decided to be still in the silence and listen for My voice? You became so quiet that you almost fell back to sleep.”
“Yes, I remember.”
“Suddenly you had a thought so profound that you jumped out of bed—something that had been in the back of your mind for a long time.”
“Yes, Lord, I remember it well. For many years I have said that some day, when I had more time, I would write. It suddenly occurred to me that although I was entering the second half of my life, I was still waiting for things to slow down. I knew in that moment I would have to make writing a priority. That morning I sat at my computer and asked you to bless my writing and to use it for your purpose.”
God was silent. And that’s when I knew. “That was You speaking to me in the silence that morning wasn’t it, Lord?”
* * * * * * *
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”
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