I wonder how many people remember Verizon Wireless’ slogan from a few years ago, “Can you hear me now?” I kind of wonder if God ever feels like asking us that question. Yesterday, I got to be a guest driver for Diana and her summer camp kids. They were such great kids, but they got me thinking about this subject. Once they were all buckled in to their car seats, and we were ready to go, I heard one of them ask this question, “Ms. Diana, does this bus play music?” I laughed and of course immediately turned up the radio, and they started singing along. It was such a sweet sound to hear those kids singing praises to the Lord. However, while I waited in the bus for them to return after singing for the residents of a nursing home in the area, I got to thinking about our daily lives, specifically our walk with God. Sometimes, it seems as though we are walking step for step with the Lord. We are walking and talking with Him, we hear Him, we see His hand moving in our lives and all around us. Then, there are times when it seems God is a thousand steps ahead of us, and we are struggling to see Him let alone hear Him. Of course, there are several different reasons why this could be the case. But this was the thought the struck me yesterday, sometimes we don’t hear God because of all of the noise in our lives.
I will freely admit, when I get into the car, I love to turn on the radio and sing my heart out. I am sure many a people have had a great laugh after sitting beside me at a red light. Or sometimes, I will turn on a news station to catch up with the headlines. Other times, I want to hear a sports story or two, so I will turn on a sports station. The point is, at a time when I am alone, a perfect time to talk with God and listen to Him, I often have noise on. Could this be why we so often struggle to hear from God? Certainly it isn’t just the radio. We have television, gaming systems, computers, and of course our smart phones. I know I’m not the only one here, but my phone starts going off typically by 6:00 every morning, and it doesn’t seem to stop. By themselves, none of these things are bad things. However, I wonder if we have allowed what was meant for good to become something bad in our lives that drowns out God’s voice, at least subconsciously?
When Jesus taught the disciples how to pray said, “But when you pray, go into your closet (room) and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret” (Mt. 6:6). Telling someone to go into their closet or their room to pray seems strange to us. But I think I’m starting to see why Jesus gave us that teaching. In my closet, there are no distractions. Being able to close the door allows me to shut the world out, even if for just a brief few moments. It is in those times that as I open the Scriptures and read in order to pray, that I find my mind doesn’t wander off as much and I don’t get as distracted. Our society has seemingly become scared of silence and solitude. Certainly, silence and solitude for a long time can have long-lasting ramifications. But I would say that we all need a little silence and a little bit of solitude each day. A few minutes where we can tune the world out, so that we can tune in to what God wants to say to us today. So grab your Bible, head to your closet, talk to God, and allow Him to talk back (primarily through His Word). Or, when you get into your car, spend at least half your car ride with the radio off. Let’s make sure, that as much as depends on us, we can hear God now.