I loved this weeks homily for a myriad of reasons. We read over Jonah 1:1-5. Jonah heard God’s voice and he ran as far away as he could. Despite the fact that Jonah literally tried to get away from God he still actually heard what was said. Two questions were asked that have been stuck in my head since. Why can’t I hear God’s voice and What can I do to open myself to hearing? At first I was answering the question for the people in general. How smug of me! This is an insight I am not proud of. So, after I stepped off my internal high horse and attempted to take the question seriously and personally, things really got ugly. I tell you this because that is the honest answer.
Why can’t I hear God’s voice?
I automatically want to say something of the “it ain’t my fault, yo!” nature. I have come to realize otherwise. It is my fault, it is always my fault. Now, my lack of ability to hear is not because I am a terrible person or because I am ‘so far away from God’. It is more along the lines of normal, everyday and seemingly meaningless things I do without even thinking. Things I do that block room for God to speak are: being sharp with my words, not communicating properly, forgetting all about patience, judging others on their faults (when mine are the same or worse), using my wit to make someone look/feel bad (sorry. . . EVERYONE!), not reading my bible then getting mad when people do not fulfill me, not having patience (it deems mentioning twice), constantly thinking of what I NEED to buy next and not praying throughout my day, everyday. Lots of other things mute God’s voice in my life, but for time’s sake we’ll stop there.
What can I do to open myself to hearing?
I don’t have a super intense 46 step method I follow and I am sorry if that is disheartening to you. The answer will be different for everyone, considering we all enjoy different things. What does enjoyment have to do with opening ourselves to hearing? Well, a lot. Intentionally partaking in the things I enjoy paired with doing the things that do not come so naturally really make room to hear God’s voice. I will give you another honest list as an example as well as just for fun: being patient, waking up early for a big breakfast and coffee, reading my bible and not expecting people to fulfill me, doing the dishes with music in the background, putting someone else’s needs before mine, being patient when I want to rip someone’s head off (guys, this is a big thing for me), reading my favorite book for the 76th time, stepping away from the online shopping and being content with what I have and loving someone who might be a little difficult to love.
These things not only make room for me to hear but they make it easier. While there are times I am not blocking the room to hear God speak, I might not be making more room. It is easy to focus more on one or the other but, I encourage you to keep both in mind. This is a look at what works for me and your list will look different but that does not mean it is incorrect.
I am challenging myself this week to constantly evaluate if what I am doing is making or blocking room to hear God’s voice. I will be focusing more on what opens myself to hearing because I need more of a reminder in that area. Feel free to do the same for yourself.