Monday, April 30, 2012

Shut up and Listen

Psalm 28

Discouraged. Disheartened. Distressed. Depressed. That is how I feel right now and this Psalm (28) goes right along with those moods and emotions I struggle with. David seems to be feeling the same kinds of things in this passage. He asks, in verse 1 that his Lord not turn a deaf ear to him.

I think we have all had times in our lives when it seems that a deaf ear is being turned to us. No matter what we say or how we say it, those around don't seem to be listening to us. It is as if we are living in a vacuum with no encouragement or inspiration. It is not a good feeling, but it happens to the best of us.

During these times it's hard not to lose heart.  It feels as though we are screaming into the wind.  All around us, people are going about their business, seemingly without a care in the world-- all the while we are falling apart and no one seems to notice.

I am a naturally self-deprecating person.  I have a hard time not feeling as though I am somehow to blame for problems that just seem to keep piling on.  Then, just now, it dawned on me that I HAVE been doing something wrong-- I am being too vocal and not listening to Him enough.  I can't hear what God is saying over the sound of my own railing and weeping. When God seems to be silent,  I need to, shut up, slow down and be more mindful of the voice of God. The only reason God ever becomes silent is when I'm not listening.

Being still and quiet is SO hard for me.  I don't think I am alone in this feeling.  It just feels so counter-productive to our culture that tells us we need to be proactive, and pick ourselves up and fix our problems instead of sitting around whining about them all the time.  Now, I'm not suggesting we simply do nothing and God will miraculously listen to our pleas, and fix all our problems.  What I am suggesting is we close our mouths and open our minds and hearts.  When I am still, and quiet, I recall that God's mercy and grace are available to me at all times, but it is up to me to unwrap these gifts and use them.  It's up to me to be a good caretaker of my life.

I am still at the questioning "Why me?" stage, right now, so I believe I need a little more time of silence with God, in order to give him a chance to speak to me; to calm me; to love me.  

As for the people in my life, I can't make them listen by screaming louder.  Have you ever tried, with a young child, when they are in the midst of a fit, whispering their name?  Almost always, the child will stop, and you know you have their attention and focus returned.  I think this is the exercise I need to use with those around me.  I'm going to quit complaining that they aren't listening, and be quiet, speak softly and regain their attention.  Maybe then I will be heard.