And quite honestly, I don't have to question why. I've never really mastered the "listening" to God thing. I talk TO him a lot. I talk AT him a lot. It's rare that I listen for him and to him. I think this is something he's bring to my attention. He's getting tired of all the listening and he's ready to talk to me now. In the last few weeks I've read scripture about it. I've had discussions about it. I've even had sections of my bible study touch on the subject. These are some of the observations I've made over the last week...
1. I don't know how to be still. It seems physically impossible. And even when my body appears to be still, my mind is not. Ever.
2.My kids, TV, my phone, and social media suck "stillness" in like a black hole. It seems nearly impossible to disconnect from being connected. This is not just a personal thing, it's become a generational and societal issue as well.
3. I tend to place my "self value" in the level of connectedness I have with any of those methods of communication mentioned above. The less connected I am, the worse I feel about myself.
4. There is a balance, and I'm still working hard to figure out what that is.
So, based on those observations, I've come to the conclusion that actually seems pretty simple. It comes back to putting God first. If I can be still and listen to Him and what he says about me and to me, then I won't feel so much of a need to be as "connected" to the craziness. Which I know sounds all well and good, but that brings me back to my 1st observation- I have no idea how to be still.
I was thinking about this issue when I remembered something I learned in a women's bible study I was part of years ago. I don't specifically remember the study we were doing, but I do remember that at the end of each meeting, we'd give prayer requests and then pray together. We'd take a minute or two to quiet ourselves and then we'd start praying. My aunt was leading the Bible study at the time and she shared a "technique" she used with us. She suggested finding a phrase that you felt applied to God at that moment (i.e.- You are Holy. Blessed is Your Name. Thank You for loving me, etc.) and recite that phrase to yourself over and over again focusing on the meaning behind the words. When you felt that your heart and mind were settled, then begin praying. Sounds good right? MUCH harder than it seems. She challenged us to start with 1 min, and when we were able to go for a minute without being distracted, add another minute. She said there had been times when she was able to go a half hour to 45 mins just meditating on her phrase that day.
At the time I was like... what? Meditating? Do I need to sit in some weird crossed leg position and light some candles? Obviously, I was joking, but now that I'm back into a state of craziness with the near inability to be still, this is something I'm going to start implementing in my time with God every day. So I can slow my brain down and focus on just God and what he might be saying to me.
I would encourage you to try it. It's HARD. Trust me, you'll be shocked at how hard it is to be totally free of distraction for 1 whole minute. Keep a journal near you, because if you be still, he will speak. He will impress things on your heart and he will communicate his love and his grace to you in ways you may have never experienced it before. And I hope that slowly, as we do this, a little of our crazy will fade away. We'll be better at being able to be still.