2007-05-14 - Hang up the Phone
How easy is it for us to become overwhelmed, stressed-out, or even frightened by circumstances beyond our control... especially in this day and age? Many times (sometimes, it even feels like "too many times"), we face difficult and painful storms that intrude, uninvited and unwelcome, into our lives. It's easy to focus on the things we can physically see happening around us, and difficult to ignore the pain it may be causing. In these moments, it's easy to pray and seek God for help and deliverance. Carrying on a continuous conversation with our Beloved Father even seems to come more naturally for us.
What becomes difficult and easily forgotten during these life junctures is that a conversation requires a dialogue. Simply, that means sharing the task of talking and listening. God desires to listen to us, and loves doing so. Even more than, and in addition to a close friend, He wants us to download on Him, to share everything - our thoughts, concerns, fears and anxieties, all of it. But He also wants His turn "on the floor," to remind us of His great love and concern for us.
My husband and I have this way of communicating with each other (we all know how easy it is to talk with our spouse - this is sarcasm). We call it "Pass the Coaster." I know it sounds strange, but it actually works well for us. "Pass the Coaster" provides us three essentials. First, it prevents either of us from operating in a filibuster fashion, and never allowing the other to speak or respond. Secondly, it gives us a better ability to fully understand each other more clearly. And finally, it allows the other person time on "the floor," which in turn gives us an opportunity to listen. You've all heard the phrase "Help! I'm talking and I can't shut- up!"? Well, that would be me.
God created men and women different ... and for a good reason (when you figure this out - please call me). We all need to learn how to deal with and accept those differences. We may not always understand them, but we can accept them and learn how to work with them, as opposed to how to work them or how to work against them. I believe that, just as we need to learn how to communicate effectively with our spouses, we also need to learn or be reminded of how to do the same with our Heavenly Father.