January 3, 2012

Love means listening

It’s day three of our vacation. I slept in, did some exercise, ate slowly, took a long soaker bath, then, two hours later opened “Thoughts for the Quiet Hour,” the devotional book selected for 2012. The question at the end of these verses grabbed my conscience.
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8–9)
Where am I indeed? On vacation. Isn’t it okay to goof off, to be lazy, and to indulge myself? I know that God never forbids a little R & R, but He sees beyond my need to unwind and relax. He sees into my heart.

The author of this reading seems to see into my heart too. He knows the human condition. He also knows that Christians can make all sorts of excuses for not paying attention. The problem is not that I am goofing off. Actually, God may be just fine with the way I spent the first hours of my morning. The problem is that I did not seek His mind on it. He may have wanted something else, but I was not checking that out with Him. Here is what the reading says, personalized to the way it hit my ears.
Am I hiding myself away from Him who would send me forth to do His own blessed work in His own way? Or is the Holy Spirit telling me this morning, “The Lord hath need of thee?” It may seem to be only a little thing He might have for me to do, but in His economy, even little things are important. He has “need of thee.” Don’t turn my back on Him. Don’t put myself out of the way of being used by Him. Don’t begin this day or any day by laying down a schedule for myself as to what I will do and what I will not do, but cry out from the very depth of my heart, “Here am I! Send me.”

Lord, when someone ignores me, I consider them rude and even unloving. Yet I am rude to You when I act as if You are not right here, wanting me to talk to You, wanting me to hear what You have to say. Thank You for this rebuke. I am glad that You keep me on a short leash. Whatever You have for me today, now I am listening. I’m sorry for this lapse in loving You.

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