There are so many times a day that I am planning, thinking about what is next, reading, watching TV and many more things. I am not listening. Only in silence can I hear the voice of God. Only when I LISTEN can I hear!
I have always been a talker and for many years while someone was speaking was thinking about what I would say next. I have gotten better over the years but I will never be perfect. Someone says we have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
Don’t forget to sit silent and wait. God will speak.
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
This verse from Paul seems so timely. Does anyone agree with anyone else anymore? Dissension is not just in politics but it has spread to everything in life. Nothing can be discussed without rancor. Sometimes I think that people defend things they don’t even believe.
Paul is reminding us that this is not how we should live. As a child many of us were taught “If you can’t say anything nice say nothing at all.” Maybe we can’t agree with the position others have taken but we can at least practise kindness and not press differing opinions into an argument. The problem is once we have planted our feet we can’t seem to back down. It is important to understand that we will never convince someone else to change their view by using arguments. It is possible that we still have things to learn from other insights. How WE behave is what matters. Things change by example not argument.
I have long been a believer in the “butterfly effect.” The idea that somehow we are all connected. I see this in so many ways. There is a wonderful children’s book called “The Invisible String” that tells us that love is one of the ways we are connected and it is the “invisible string” that never goes away even with death.
Sometimes we have a strong feeling of connection to someone we have never physically met. I feel that way about some people I connect with on this blog. I hear their voice through their words. I have a sense of who they are and feel connected. Because I don’t know them otherwise I could be wrong but there is still something there. Kindness and compassion are clearly felt.
We are connected to the people we see in our everyday lives. It could be seeing the same grocery clerk every week or someone we meet for lunch. People touch us in our work. Obviously some of these links can be good or bad but there is still a connection. Each of us has an impact on those around us.
We are connected to those who have gone before us. We may not know about them or we may have heard stories about their lives. They are present in our DNA. We often find that there are personality traits that have been passed on. People say that I look like my great grandmother. Pictures do show a strong connection.
In the church where I worked for years there is a sense in the building of the lives that have gone before. It is something I feel when I sit in silence in the sanctuary. It is as if the “communion of saints” is physically present.
Don’t doubt that we are all connected. The things that I do each day affects others. Science tells us that nothing is lost…just changed. What I do matters. What you do matters.
We often ask the question “why are we here.” For me the answer has been “to help others.” In today’s world this idea is taking a back seat and society seems intent on forwarding ourselves and phooey with others. There is love and caring in the world but many are trying to make it take a back seat.
We are seeing some of this is some attitudes about covid 19. If only we could begin to turn back the other way.
Genesis 4:9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
God would easily answer yes to that question. For those of us who are doing our best to follow the acts of Jesus there is only one response. We are responsible for our behavior and how we treat others. Each of us is only one but many ones together can make a difference. Follow the path of Jesus and show your love and care for your fellow human beings.
At first is seems odd that this suggests that fear causes us to believe in something we cannot see. The truth is that is exactly what we are doing. It is so easy to worry about things that will never happen. To project what we imagine into our future. We often make mountains out of molehills. There are certainly things to fear that are real but even those have aspects that we can’t even imagine.
Projecting ourselves into the future is useless. Leaning on the promises given to us by God is a much better use for our energy. Faith in God is a strong rock to hold on to.
Prayer: God whose grace gives us hope, remind us that fear does us no good. Help us to turn to you each moment and accept your love and promises.
Lately I have felt the impulse to sing to God before beginning my nightly prayers. St. Francis says: “He who sings prays twice.” I miss that part of worship in church so I have decided to use it at home. The song that has continued in my heart is How Great Thou Art.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
This was the scripture today from Bible Gateway. It resonates with me. Sometimes we do ask but the things we ask for are not important. Sometimes we ask for important things and don’t get the answer we want.
That makes it easy to think that prayer doesn’t matter. It seems as if no one is listening. However, God is always listening. His love and caring are with us every moment. He hears the prayers and understands our fears and pains.
Prayer matters. Don’t give up because you things it doesn’t matter. Don’t stop because you think it has to be a formal kind of prayer. Just speak your heart. God hears.
Today I cleaned out a file cabinet and found some things I wrote a while ago. This one stood out to me and I kept it out so I could think about it. It was written after re-reading the beatitudes in Matthew 5.
Turn loose of your pride and know that you are not the most important thing in the world. Forget “I can do anything better than you” and substitute ” together we can do anything.”
Remember when everything is gone…God is still there.
Be content with what you have. Remember the most important thing is to have a relationship with God.
Look for God and he will find you. When you are filled with God nothing else is needed.
Remember Christ’s commandment. Love the Lord you God with all your heart and all your soul and all you mind and your neighbor as yourself.
Clean out the closet in yourself. Git rid of the grudges and pain you still carry for no reason. Let God fill those places.
Be the peacemaker. Don’t take sides. Be part of the solution instead of adding to the problem.
Be different. Be unusual enough that someone asks “why do you act that way?” And you can answer “because I follow Christ.”
Religion is a way of walking, not a way of talking. Dean William R. Inge
Too often we spend a lot of time talking about our faith. We tend to forget that talking is only the very smallest part of what we are to do as Christians. It’s what we do when we walk out of the door of the church that matters. People know us by our actions.
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Silence of the heart is necessary so you can hear God everywhere….in the closing of a door, in the person who needs you, in the birds that sing, in the flowers, in the animals. Mother Teresa in No Greater Love
My husband says he likes to hunt but I don’t remember him ever killing anything. He just likes to sit in the silence in the woods and observe God’s beautry around him. He communes with creation. Most of us just walk by a beauriful flower or miss the glorious sunset. We don’t know how to silence our hearts and see God’s beautiful world.
Prayer: Give us, Lord, the ability to find that silence of the heart. In its center let us learn about the needs of your world and act on those needs. AMEN