I enjoy jogging on a certain main street in my neighborhood. A lot of joggers, skateboarders, and cyclist make their way down this road. The etiquette while jogging is to nod and say hello as you pass another jogger. If one is feeling very festive, she can try to squeeze in a fast one-liner during the few seconds of contact.
For example, one could say, “Windy day. Can’t wait to go back the other way” or “I forgot that summer has arrived already” or “Wonder if I can call a cab to pick me up.” These are quick little remarks that entertain the joggers as they sweat out all their frustration and that morning’s donut. The comments are not terribly witty or remarkable; rather, they mainly work as creative little fillers.
I always wear my headphones and jam out to Christian music while I jog. So whenever I see another jogger in the distance, I turn off the music so I can respond to whatever is being said or I can make a remark if so inclined.
However, one particular afternoon I didn’t want to turn off my radio. I was in a runner’s groove, and I didn’t feel like slowing down to look at my IPod. I decided that I would just speak to the passerby with the music playing in my ears. I prepared a quick comment about the weather and rehearsed it in my head. I was confident that I could give my small one-liner, make eye contact with the jogger and continue running my course. Simple.
Since the music was so loud in my ears, I really couldn’t hear how I sounded, but it was obvious the other jogger had no idea what I had said. All I saw as I ran past him was an expression of confusion and a little shock on his face. I’m horrified to think about what noises came out of my mouth.
Many times we as Christians do the same thing. We want to tell someone about Jesus, but we are listening to the loud noises of the world and we are unable to articulate clearly. We want to explain our relationship with Christ, but our words come out all jumbled and confused. Sometimes our entire life is one chaotic mess because we can’t distinguish God’s voice from amongst the world’s racket.
I’ve realized that in my own walk with God, I have had to tune out a lot of the world. Much of what I filter is not necessarily deemed as evil – it’s just distracting. Once I started turning down the ruckus filling my ears, I was much better at hearing from the Lord. When I could hear God’s voice, I became better at sharing His insights with others.
I know that God’s grace covers all my mess-ups, but I would like to do a better job at focusing my radar on Him. I want to clearly hear God’s voice, so He can do a mighty work in my life. If I could be diligent enough to tune-out the world’s transmissions, my ears will have greater ability to receive God’s holy signal, which is filled to overflowing with truth and promises.
What about you? What distractions can you tune out of your life, so you can better hear from God? What changes can you make that will keep your radar alert to His plan?
“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding”
(Job 37.5 NIV).
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