Too Busy to Listen

When I was younger, I had the idea the more I did for God, the better.  I had read a quote from Erma Bombeck about meeting God and telling Him she had no more talent because she had already used every ounce of her talent for Him.  I knew we don’t earn God’s love, yet I wanted to show my love for Him so passionately, I was constantly looking for things I could do that used all my available time, energy and talent.  I actually would wake up in a panic, realizing my life was half over and I hadn’t accomplished anywhere near what I had hoped.

Later, I heard an elderly woman talk about her wonderful son, and how he would come over every week to do all the chores she couldn’t do for herself–the home maintenance, landscape care, etc.  Then she said wistfully, “I wish sometimes, he would just sit and talk to me instead of working so hard.”

I realized suddenly that perhaps God would like me to spend more time in prayer so “I would just sit and talk with Him.”  I tried adding at least 30 minutes of prayer to my busy schedule.  Out of my prayer time came ideas about people I should contact or things I should do that I hadn’t seen until I prayed.  I took these ideas as whispers from God.  Then, I realized I was so busy, I couldn’t add in one more thing.  I couldn’t do all those things I felt God nudging me to do, with all the things I was already doing.

Slowly, I began to realize God probably didn’t want all the things I had decided to do as an offering to Him.  He might not be interested in “my plans” to use every bit of every spiritual gift I thought He had given me.  He might want me to take my cues from Him instead.  Around that time my children were becoming more independent.  They were often going out on their own trying to do good things for me and for others.  A lot of those things ended up in a mess that could have been avoided had we worked together instead..  (One of those episodes involved trying to make hard boiled eggs in the microwave, but I digress.)

Anyway, somehow I began to learn that God was more interested in my listening to Him and obeying what He was showing me than He was in all the things I was doing on my own, trying to use all my time and talents.  So now I just ask every day “Lord, what would you have me do today for you and others?”  Then I just do what I see before me.  It doesn’t mean there aren’t still things on my calendar, or times that I serve on a regular basis.  But these are things I have felt God nudging me to do, without regard to whether I was using all my spiritual gifts or all my available time.  I have found when I do those things I feel God is calling me to do, I have plenty of time for those little “God appointments” He places in my day.  I am also more relaxed, knowing if my purpose is solely to please Him, the Lord will use me according to His purposes (not mine).  And life has become more of an adventure, less hectic, less scheduled, more spontaneous, and more fulfilled..

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