Monday, April 1, 2019

a busy go-getter's guide to sitting still and falling in love

I’m 31. I don’t have a house, a husband, or a car. 

But Wal-Mart was having a sale on Fall-scented candles so I bought 13 pumpkin spices. They make the whole room smell like a bakery in October. It's April but I don't mind. 

“What would it be like to live in my own house? I'd decorate it like a gyspy-farmer-bohemian medley. Why am I not married? I wish I had a car. Why don't I have a car?” 

Then I start wondering how long I’ll be living in America, why I don’t have more control of my thoughts, and how many people liked my last instagram post. There’s so much noise up here.

But then I get a whiff of pumpkin spice and remember the point of life.

God wants our attention.

Whether you've got a hundred houses and a hundred kids or you're more like me, and own some twinkle lights and live out of suitcases and sleep in other people's houses and babysit other people's kids; we've all got the same purpose and the same in-love God leaned over Heaven's balcony, desire flowing out of His heart, singing, 
"I love you and I want you, will you love me back?"

Psychology Today says "paying attention is the most basic form of love."

What are we paying attention to? 
The dream spouse, the dream house, the huge salary, the fame, the right number of friends...why do we let that nonsense noise fill our heads? As I waste my attention on the nonsense, do you know what God is doing? Yes. Leaned over Heaven's balcony, dreaming of my attention to turn to Him.

There’s this terrifying glorious truth—-we get as much of God as we want.  

 The more I pay attention to Him, the more I realize how wonderful He is, and the more I want Him. Frantic nonsense or the Great God who takes the attention we give Him and makes love grow? The choice is ours. 

I have an inside! You have an inside! The reason, the whole big reason, for giving every person an inside--so we can live with Him in here. Oh man. My thoughts--this 24/7 screen called my mind--He wants. 

When my attention gets turned to Him, my insides connect with His and I get to know Him better. He's a mystery that just keeps going and every single discovery about Him is good. Lord help us pay attention to You.  

Running, hard and fast, from person to person, ministry to ministry, country to country--it's been my way. But these pumpkin spice candles burn and I sit here on my gold couch and I remember why I’m alive. No other agenda here. No other priority. Just sitting, slow, talking to my Creator Friend and listening to my Creator Friend talk back to me. Still, de-cluttered, quiet.

I’m not a professional at it yet, but I’m better today than I was yesterday. And let me tell you what else I am more today than I was yesterday--in love. 

The stuff is cultivated here with Him. 

In the sitting, the being enjoyed by Jesus, I'm learning to let Him have my attention. Intimacy is made here, no one else around, in the pumpkin-spice-fragranced-quiet-moments. The living God and me.

And anybody can do this. 
Paying attention to God and falling in love with Him--it's not for only super spiritual holy people who've been to seminary. I wouldn't qualify. 

It's for full-time moms, truck drivers, the immature, school teachers, the brokenhearted, farmers, vagabonds, and everyone else with a heart beating in their chest. If you're breathing air, you are in the category called "Human beings God is in love with." 

You don't have to spend three hours in on-your-knees uninterrupted silence to pay attention to God. Know what counts? 90 seconds. Take 90 seconds--be quiet, tell your mind to chill out, and give God your attention. Anybody can do that. 

He's Emmanuel because He wants to be. To be close to us is His choice, His dream. 

Want to try it right now? Here's a timer. 
He's excited and ready.  

I am Your resting child and my soul is content in You.
-Psalm 131:2

p.s. if you want to help me get a car so I can drive to grocery stores and people to love while I live in America, you may give here. Write "car" in the note. Thank you. 

“The caress of God meets us in a stillness on the inside.”
-Ann Voskamp, 
The Broken Way