I love to talk with my grandson on the phone. He is always full of stories about how he has filled his days. My daughter is very good about updating the website with photos and comments on those activities and so I am able to ask questions to which he responds, “Yeah!” and then tells me a little more detail. But he is three and his world is very limited. When he runs out of stories to tell, he simply says, “I’m all done talking now. Bye Grammie. I love you.” The last few weeks the “*I love you” has been replaced by a loud smacking air kiss….. and then he is gone.
Last night as I was praying, I began to ponder how often I simply pour out my heart before God, pray for the people and concerns that I have, remind God I love him and say “Amen” It occurred to me that this is a sign of many things, none of them flattering: self preoccupation, childishness, distraction, and being rushed.
That list makes me sad.
Am I really so self absorbed that when I am finished talking my conversation with God is over?
Am I that childish that I don’t have the skills to listen for God’s part of the conversation?
Am I too distracted to stop and listen for what God wants me to know?
Am I in so much of a rush that I don’t wait for God to speak?
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13… When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.
And yet, when it comes to prayer I know that I have not completely put away childish things. That’s a part of my shame, and lies at the core of the struggle that I sometimes have in deepening my prayer life. Whereas I pray daily, I don’t listen daily.
I have found that a helpful corrective to that problem is to begin my prayer time with the reading of Scripture. Not only does what I read help me to focus my praise as more of God’s nature is revealed, but it also points out to me things upon which to ponder, reflect and pray. There are often insights in what I read that cause me to think about what God is saying to me.
I know that for me the answer to becoming spiritually mature lies in embracing the practice of Silence.
Silence: Closing off our souls from “sounds”, whether noise, music, or words, so that we may be better able to still the inner chatter and clatter of our noisy hearts and be increasingly attentive to God. The Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible
Will you join me as I learn to be increasingly attentive to God?