A little over a month ago, a friend of mine was speaking during the worship service.
(In the LDS Church, this is neither unusual or rude! Our local church leaders serve for free, and members of the congregation are asked from time-to-time to search the scriptures and deliver an address to the congregation during the worship service. So, almost every Sunday, you will be hearing from about three regular members of that congregation. We have no paid preachers, so we all share the burden of teaching each other.)
She was speaking about what it takes to hear messages sent from God.
(Explanation number two: We believe that God still speaks to His children, just like He did in Bible times. We believe there is a specific order about who gets messages for what, but everyone has the opportunity to get the messages they need from God. In my case, I can receive inspiration for my personal life, for my children, and for my position as a Webelos den leader.)
I was listening hard, because I treasure those moments when I feel the Holy Spirit fill my soul and fill my heart and mind with knowledge. I have been through many events in my life that were beyond my mortal capacity to weather, but I came out o.k. because I was seeking and following divine guidance. I love knowing that there is a purpose to prayer: to converse with God. That means that I talk to Him, and I can expect Him to answer.
There was one particular question that she posed that caused me to really stop and think. She asked, “Are you listening for the inspiration you’re requesting?”
I’ve blogged before that I live a busy lifestyle and that I’m very comfortable with it. I have probably even mentioned that, to me, the world’s greatest torture would be to lock me in a room and give me absolutely nothing to do. I would be bonkers in less than 15 minutes – or, I would have created things for me to do to keep myself occupied!
The downside to my lifestyle is that I have almost no down time. I don’t slow down and just let my mind wander much. I don’t have “quiet spaces” of time where there are few demands and no todo list. This puts me at a disadvantage for hearing from God, because my mind is always busy and cluttered.
I do have my running time, and I do have my shower time (on the weekends – I have to shower to a timer during the week, or I’m late to work!), so I do have a few moments where I can hear over the noise of my life. I do have to wonder, though, if I took a few minutes everyday to stop, be still, and just listen to see what God might want to say to me.