I love the laughter, the conversations, the sound of my children playing spoons or the music cranked up while they dance. Even good noise can be too much at times. Then there’s the arguing, the yelling , and occasional door slam…
There’s a lot of interrupting, repeating, and Hot Pastor even has earplugs. All eight of us use music streaming from earphones as a means of escape.
You may not have six children, but would probably agree that all of life is loud. If it’s not literal noise, it’s the voice of responsibility yelling in your ear or the world screaming at you to do more, see more, and be more.
Quiet is rare.
Right now as I try to write, the blender is going and two boys are right in my ear discussing the calendar and asking me questions about a trip that we are taking this month. I’m totally ignoring them. I wonder how long it will take before they realize that I will not answer their questions at this time…
I’ve never done this before, but I have to go to work, so this will be continued later today. Maybe you can be thinking about how you find space to listen…
Eight hours later. I’m back.
The house is still noisy, but I’m determined to focus on this message of listening. How can we listen to the voice of God when we are surrounded by the noise of life?
We home schooled our kids for many years. When we began public school a couple of years ago, I was home in a quiet house for the first time. One day I heard a loud buzz from the laundry room. I had never heard it before. It was the dryer. I had no idea that it buzzed at the end of the drying cycle. It had been making that sound for years, but it was drowned out by the noise of children.
Now that I know about the buzzer, I listen for it on laundry days.
I believe God is speaking to us and has been for years. Perhaps the noise of life is drowning him out. I also believe that hearing him is about focus and expectation.
If our focus is on listening for him, if we are expecting his voice, then we will hear him.
His voice can be heard in the songs of the birds outside and the laughter of our children inside. He speaks to us through the pain of others as he calls us to compassion. His spirit speaks to ours as we make decisions and seek his wisdom. He speaks peace to us in troubled times when we trust him.
I believe God wants us to hear his voice, but he does not interrupt or scream to get our attention. He’s blessed when he sees us listening for him. Kind of like when a door prize is being given away and you’re listening for your name to be called.
I read this quote from Oswald Chambers recently.