Friday, June 1, 2012

A Loud Roar

There's a song from the movie Prince Caspian called The Call by Regina Spektor.  The lyrics of the first verse are my favorite:

It started out as a feeling
Which then grew into a hope
Which then turned into a quiet thought
Which then turned into a quiet word
And then that word grew louder and louder
'Til it was a battle cry

I can't even count how many times I've had a feeling that I should do something.  I dismiss it.  And then it comes back quietly as a thought.  I dismiss it and then it comes back and comes back until it's this big roaring thought in my head surrounded by flashing lights saying "Do this!!!"  Every time I put the action off, the roar just gets louder and louder until I finally get off my rump and do it.  Once I do it, my brain settles down until the next time.

But what if, instead of ignoring that feeling until it grows and grows, I were to act on the feeling immediately?  What if I were to obey the still, quiet voice in my spirit the first time rather than wait until God slaps me upside the head with it?  Would my spirit become more sensitive to God's voice?  What more would I accomplish?  How much more effective would I be?  Would I be happier and more at peace?  Would God speak to me even more because I was finally paying better attention?  

My entire life I have struggled with having daily prayer times.  And then one day this past winter a switch went off.  I made a decision that I was going to get up a few minutes earlier (at the very early time of 5:50am) and get ready for the morning and then I was going to have my prayer time.  No checking my email, no emptying the dishwasher, no reading a book, nothing until I have my prayer time.  Once I got into the routine of praying daily, I started taking time after reading my Bible and praying to just sit there and listen.  To write down whatever thoughts came to me, to look up any scripture references that came to mind.  

When I was in high school (a Christian school), my class was given the book God Guides by Mary Geegh.  I've saved it all these years and I read through it again and again because it is that good.  The book gives example after example of people learning to quiet their spirit and just wait and listen for God to speak to them.  At first my "listener" was rusty, I had to really sit there and focus.  But as the weeks have gone by and I've made this a daily habit, God has spoken more and more to me.  

Sometimes it's just God reassuring me, sometimes it's God asking me to do something.  Sometimes it's direction.  Last week I was praying about Joy not wanting to stay in her room during our afternoon quiet time and I was praying for ideas of how to help her.  The thought of audio books came to mind so I checked some out at the library the next day and it worked!  She loves them!  She now stays in her room the entire hour of quiet time.  I had to go back to the library a second time last week to get even more audio books because she'd already listened to the three I got her.  

I'm learning to listen to God's voice the first time.  To act on those nudges that I feel in my spirit.  Sometimes I still wait until it's a roar  because I get busy, I forget, I am embarrassed or afraid to follow through (when God asks me to talk to someone or do something that's outside my comfort zone).  But as I've learned to listen, God has spoken more and more to me and I'm finding that I can't wait to have my prayer time because I want to know what God is going to tell me next.  Some days I pray twice because I am that impatient or excited to hear what God wants to tell me!  

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