Saturday, March 21, 2009

When God Speaks, Are You Listening?

Tell me how you like to communicate, and I’ll guess how old you are.

If you rely on telephones, you’re probably reading this through bifocals.

If you prefer email and instant messages, you may be growing a wrinkle at this very moment because you’re in your 30s.

If you’re addicted to Facebook and/or texting, you’re under 25.
In fact, as soon as my daughter and her friend get in my car each day after school, they check their messages and begin texting. In a moment of revelation one day, I asked the friend, “Are you texting Kristin?” She grinned and nodded.
If I didn’t rank so low on their list, I might think they were secretly discussing me.
Kids aren’t the only ones texting friends in the same room; some parents occasionally text their kids when they’re at home.
While that might seem odd, think of texting as leaving a note in a lunch box, which I’ll bet you’ve done.
You can text your child a family joke, ask if he’s OK or send a caring message: “praying for you.”

Of course, texting can’t replace face-to-face communication, but you can make an appointment for a deeper discussion later. In the meantime, you’ve touched base with each other in a way teenagers enjoy.
Any activity or gizmo that dominates so much time in our lives is bound to have spiritual implications. Group Magazine offers great questions to ask your teen: “Does technology simplify or complicate your life? Do you like always being reachable? Why or not? How open are your communication lines with God?”

That last question hit home with me. I wondered how open my communication lines are with God. Am I just as accessible to God, or does he wait on the sidelines of my life for me to get back with him?

For instance, I’ve noticed that whether teens are engaged in birthday parties, movies or ball games, when they receive a message, they discreetly check it right away. They are always accessible.
Like them, I hope that when I sense a “God moment” I stop in my tracks to check in with prayer.
Because after all, God is not limited to influencing me through long periods Bible reading and prayer or sermons. He also gives me important warnings, encourages me to help others and inspires timely ideas for newspaper columns!

May we be as attentive to his voice as we are to our cell phones and email, and as quick to respond to God as Samuel was:
“The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Then Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant is listening’” (1 Samuel 3:10).

When was the last time God got your attention in the middle of an impossibly busy moment?

Is your prayer life a balance of speaking and listening or mainly speaking?

John 10:12: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
Everyone loves a note in the lunch box--don’t miss God’s little messages to you throughout your day!
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