Thursday, July 4, 2019

the fireworks flowers (some practical thoughts on hearing God's Voice)

Sister picked them in her front yard--flowers looking like fireworks. 

The bouquet is sitting on our table in a glass jar, presenting bright colors to the kitchen. 

But flowers and fireworks are different. Yeah--they're colorful and pretty and fun to look at, but that's about all they have in common. 


Fireworks are fast explosions, loud show-y bursts of color and then gone.  Potassium nitrate, chemical reactions, fuses, and some other stuff, combining to explode color into the sky—-and last year, sending more than 9,000 to the hospital.
 Attention-seeking, potentially hazardous, and gone in an instant. 

Very different are flowers--they grow slow, steady in the sun, unnoticeable daily progress taking their time in the dirt, roots growing down unseen. They're not striving, they're just being. 
Eventually, in silence, they bloom. 

My 74-year old Great Aunt had her first wedding a couple months ago. After years of teaching school, playing the organ at church, raising cats, and waiting, she got her husband. At the reception, where she swayed close to her groom on the dance floor, my cousin and I talked about what it's like to hear God talk. The Creator God's voice spoken to our souls--How? And what's He sound like? 

Smelling sister's bouquet today, touching the textures, admiring the colors--I'm thinking about flowers and fireworks and God's voice.

 I've wanted (and expected) Him to be more like fireworks--flashy loud booming instruction across the sky of my soul; "HERE I AM AND THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO SAY, SO MAKE NO MISTAKE, I'M TALKING!" with other loud and obvious words. Like if I mix up the right things and strive hard enough, maybe He'll show up flashy for me. 

But from what I can tell, God doesn't usually talk like fireworks. I'm finding His voice to be more like flowers. And more like my 74 year-old aunt swaying on the dance floor. 

A friend recently asked, "Does His voice inside of me sound like my own thoughts? And if so, how can I tell what's His voice and what's just my thoughts?" Now that's a question. 

I didn't have a polished perfect answer, and I still don't. And I'm not an expert or a theologian but man, I love Him. He's the reason I like getting out of bed every morning and the reason why I light a candle and turn on twinkle lights and open the Bible and read real slow--and thinking about Him now, I'm overwhelmed He's made it so simple. If I can know Him, anyone can know Him. He doesn't speak in the try-to-figure-it-out flashy striving; He speaks in the take-your-time resting. 

When we look for Him, we find Him (He said that). 
If we want to hear His Voice, we will.
Like the flowers and my aunt, He's steady, calm, patient. He's mystery and romance. And I hear Him best when I'm quiet. When I give Him time to talk. 
God help us give You time. 

He wants us to hear Him way way way more than we want to hear Him. Dialogue--us talking to Him, Him talking to us; it's how He wants to fill our days. Our minds interacting with Him, our hearts hearing what He says, from Monday to Sunday, from wake-up to bedtime. 

So I'm sitting here typing, and my blog-beginning enthusiasm has turned to ugh: I just now entered into conversation with Him--
"What am I doing? Writing about hearing Your voice? I'm not qualified. This is dumb."

He responds, 
"I love you. You can do this, Love."

He sounds sorta like my own thoughts, except nicer, and truer, and always matching what the Bible says. His voice is on the inside of us (He loves this place) and listening to His voice is the most important thing we can do. Ever. And His voice is why I'm going to follow-though and finish this post. Help me, Jesus. 

"God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer."
-Mother Teresa

If given the choice of a fireworks show or flower garden growing in my soul, I'd pick the flowers any day. Thriving, steady, spreading color and beauty--like God's voice. 

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 a practical idea; 
Read John 10:1-30, taking your time.
Think about what you're reading, talk to Him about what you're reading. 
Ask Him to help you hear His voice.  

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So. 
Happy July 4th. 
I hope you get to watch a lot of fireworks tonight. 
And I hope you hear His Voice, like a pretty bouquet of life. 


"My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me."
-Jesus 
John 10:27