Monday, August 1, 2011
Be Silent or Be Lost
For a young woman the season of her mid-twenties is a time of adventure. Whether it’s marriage, travel, the first big job there is nothing so strange as leaving that familiar time of homework and test taking to place that is so unstructured. This of course doesn’t mean the end of school, but it is a the time when the things you are expected to do: school then college are done and there are a myriad of acceptable (and non-acceptable things to do).
Occasionally, there is regret about the adventure taken. A young wife regrets not traveling or working before she married. A career-driven girl sighs at the big “0” on her answering machine. The young woman trying to get her masters regretfully declines another invitation to go home for the holidays. The free spirit wonders what life would be like if she’d settled down with her old beau.
As with everything it is never too late to begin listening. When you invite God’s insight and love into your life he begins to work with you and work with what you’ve got despite all the bumps in the road.
The young wife is inspired to take a part time job at the local bakery whipping up croissants she learned to make because her husband fell in love with them during their honeymoon in Paris.
Miss. My Job Is My Life starts to say ‘yes’ when Lucy, her co-worker asks her to go out with the girls for a drink, and soon comes to realize she’s learned to care for each one of them.
The life-long student lets go of her pride and calls her stepdad for some help on her paper on [some big topic I never wrote about] and ends up deciding to buy a ticket to go home the next weekend for some R&R.
I Go Where the Wind Takes Me, faces her fear of being the one left behind and decides to stay in Tokyo, Japan for at least a year to think about what she really wants at the end of the day… to really listen.
Every girl feels the fear of not living up to the picture of the loved, successful, smart and adventurous woman in their head. This woman has it all together, she beams. She is so unlike the girl that hits the snooze button three times and can’t remember if she watered the plants this week.
If there is one thing I’ve learned about life with God is the ability to listen to Him is built up with prayer and prayer can only happen in silence and that silence is unwelcome. Silence is unwelcome by many things. It is unwelcome by the Devil because he knows that in silence you will be forced to look at your life and that means you will run to God for help. Silence is unwelcome by our hip modern time that allows us to be plugged in 24/7 so that we don’t fall behind of all the hip stuff that our friends have probably already heard about.
And Silence in unwelcome by me, because it makes me uncomfortable to see the things I’m ashamed of and the things that bring me pain. The first step to become free of those things is acknowledging them and it is the hardest part. Once you have given it all to God it’s all much more pleasant.
A couple of days ago I resolved to go cleaning about my apartment in silence, which is very hard for me. I live alone and I like noise in the background. I go through many, many audiobooks, movies and music throughout the week. I realized that it was partially because I enjoyed it but also because it numbed parts of my heart that hurt and because there was an was uncomfortable uncertainty about how my life was going and where it was headed. Not unlike those four women I talked about earlier. Sure I prayed for few times a day but I never let God seep in through a long silence. Seeing how Jesus is the Lord of my life and I’d been telling him how much more I wished to love Him I figured I’d do the brave thing and create some quiet where I could listen and just be with Him so I figured housework time was a good place to start.
It was very uncomfortable for the first ten minutes. I wanted the noise back. I focused on the way I picked things up and their correct placement. That brought me pleasure, straightening things out. I liked the idea of having a clean home. I looked out the window and focused on the outline of the clouds and the rooftops that blurred together as the sun set behind them. ‘How lovely, Lord’ I thought. And then I felt peace, with a few words here and there as I cleaned I loved Him and I loved the task He had given me. I was His servant and He was my King.
When you listen things change, but when you rest more time in that silence you begin to have the courage to live because you feel loved.
Whether you are one or a combination of the wife, working girl, eternal student or freedom-seeker you will at times feel like there is something lacking in your life, like you aren’t whole because others have gifts and people in their lives that you don’t but if you take the time to listen to the deepest desires of your hearts you will find peace in what you have been given and courage to keep hoping for what you don’t. But even better you will get to know Him, who sees you with more love than you will ever be able to see yourself.