I have been trying to empty my mind because I want to hear God speak to me. I am the kind of person that constantly thinks of many things all the time. I even have premeditated thoughts that I plan to think about later. I realize that sounds insane, but I can’t help it. My system of ideas, my worries, my questions, my inner conversations circulate in my head like the endless belt of an escalator. I long so very much to hear the audible voice of God, speaking directly to me, finally giving me some relief, and putting my restless, demanding questions out of their misery. This week I read Psalm 83:11: ” Oh God, don’t sit idly by silent and inactive”, when it occurred to me that maybe I talk too much. I say too much to God all the time, nagging him with my inquiries like a small child incessantly pulling at his mother’s dress demanding attention. It occurred to me that maybe I’m not hearing God because I’m creating too much static of my own which stops me from clearly understanding what God is trying to say to me.
The origin of the word “static” comes from Latin “staticus” which interestingly enough it doesn’t mean interference; it means “causing to stand”. I find it so odd that juxtaposed, as a noun, static means hissing noises that interfere and act as a barrier from hearing something clearly.1Samuel 12:16 commands us to “Now stand here and see the great things that Lord is about to do.” So every day I tried to empty my mind, intermit my mental chatter, and just standing still in a private place ( my closet, or bathroom). I wouldn’t even read my Bible, but just simply sat there closing my eyes and focusing my whole being onto God , giving him my undivided attention. At first it was actually annoying because my verbal self kept breeding impatience, and wanted to, again, say something to God, and after a few minutes of not “hearing” anything from him I would become so disappointed. But that’s me: I expect a lot in a short amount of time. I don’t like learning the beginning steps, I find the learning stages frustrating, and yet I expect finishing results promptly. I’m completely unreasonable, but I am very glad that God is not impatient and unreasonable with me. Suddenly I realized that I do a lot of talking to God, I say to much, asking, complaining, pleading, asking again… I don’t think I even give Him a chance to answer me. The noise I create with my inner chatter actually builds a barrier and not a bridge to understanding God’s voice and will for my life. Just like I’m trying to connect to my favorite radio station, but I can’t hear clearly what’s being said because there is static in the way.
I finally thought that perhaps I’ll find God’s voice in the silence, that carefully listening will put me on the right frequency with Him. Psalm 19:1-3 says: ” The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak… They speak without a sound or a word, their voice is silent in the skies, yet their message has gone out to all the earth.” Maybe God is trying to tell me something all the time, but I’m too immature to hear him. I tell my children every day, “Be quiet, and just listen to me!”, and they still try to talk over my words.
It is difficult for me to let my mind rest, to empty it of all the fretting, the questioning, and all the inner conversations, but my desire to experience God’s voice gives me the strength. I decided to try again at spending time alone with God, but now all I do is ask Him to bless our time together, and to give me the wisdom to listen. Even if I don’t hear anything, I still just thank him over and over for my life, and all the things in it. The virgin Mary is a great role model during this time. She has just given birth to Jesus, our lord and savior, and she had all the right in the world to talk about it over and over to everyone around her, but instead she chose to be silently grateful: ” Mary, QUIETLY treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often”. I, too, will try to follow her lead, and be quiet, and submerge myself in God’s love and grace, visually imagining myself lulled to and fro simply relaxing in the rhythm of silence and gratitude.
Don’t forget: scrub that soul clean!
Word of the day: AUDIAL
By Roxana Phillip-Hackett
Roxana is a wife of one, mother of two, who loves to share her faith with sincerity and honesty from her home in Hendersonville Tennessee.