20 March 2019 - Lexington, Georgia
I have been getting good practice in how to walk along highways over the past two weeks. I walk facing the traffic, often walking on the edge of the road until vehicles approach, then getting off and walking on the shoulder until they pass. The amount of traffic varies. Yesterday I walked miles and miles through a “cone zone” of road construction. The advantage of this was that the flag people were letting the cars go only one direction at a time, following the pilot car. So, there were stretches, during the transition, when they were no cars at all. And when this happened, I noticed how quiet it was. Just about every time it was quiet, I heard birds singing. And then it hit me. The birds had probably been singing most of the time that I had been walking each day. The noise from the traffic was just so loud that I couldn’t hear them.
This is how it is with us trying to hear a word from God. God is always wooing us, saying something about how much we are loved, offering guidance for our day, asking us to pray for someone, or perhaps asking us to pursue a big dream that would benefit us and be of service to others or to the planet. But it is so loud out there! There is so much noise that we don’t hear God’s voice. There are phones pinging and loud music in restaurants and TV’s blaring and internet chatter and advertisements and cars and trucks and all the rest of it.
It is not an accident that I heard a message from God to do this walk and raise money for organizations that serve children while I was out finishing up a hike - by myself - in Rocky Mountain National Park. I was open to hearing something. And I could hear because there were very few people on the trail, and what was audible was mostly the wind and birds and, yes, God’s voice.
Where is the space for quiet in your life? Do you have a regular time to think, to listen, to pray? I understand that you may be in a “noisy phase” of life, with small children running around your house. But many times, we create our own noise. We turn the TV or the computer on the moment we get up. We are checking email right up until we go to bed. We take the car to handle a nearby errand, when we could walk. When we go for a walk or a run, we often put on headphones.
If you want to hear a word of hope from God… a word of guidance… a word of love… a life-transforming word… then make a commitment to carving out regular times of quiet in your life. It’s like flag-people stopping the traffic on the highway.
Be your own flag person.