Relationships and communication can be a struggle sometimes. The world is constantly talking to us about US. Products, advertisements, articles, news, radio, christian or secular.....they all come at us from a similar perspective. It's about you - what are you doing, wearing, going, saying, thinking, eating, praying, serving...how do you look, what do others think about you, what does it say about you.....before you know it....you've let it become about you.
I know that in my own mind I've been stuck in that rut. I try to force myself out for a while, a moment, an hour, longer.....but then I'm right back in that rut without even realizing it. Hmm.....here again, we arrive at goals.
Do you find yourself muttering to......yourself? Rehearsing a conversation or rehashing one that is long since over but now that you've had time to think about it you would be so much more articulate? I do that. I've always had that struggle.....I'm sure it's insecurity.....and possibly part inherited because I've noticed my father doing it since I was a kid.....maybe its a weird gene.... Whatever it is, I'm setting a goal to stop it. Again. Granted I've had this goal for years and many times. The goal is not just to stop, but to replace it, with conversation with Him.
My Lord who wants me to share with Him what is on my heart because I want to talk with Him. There was a time in my life where I'd reached a spiritual mountain top of ceaseless conversation with the Lord. I would talk with Him silently while in conversation with others, while doing the dishes, folding laundry.....He was my constant companion in everything I did. I could feel Him near and it became so natural and automatic, I couldn't not talk to Him.....it was a beautiful relationship.
While I love Him dearly still, somehow....through the ups and downs of life and trials.....my focus got distracted and it came off of Him and on to me. Our conversation went from ceaseless to sparse, from conversation to "prayer". That kind of formal thing where you are asking for help and stuff but not really having a conversation where you are waiting for the response.....because you expect one. Often I feel like prayer - for me - is a one way conversation where I am talking at Him instead of with Him. I miss the with. For too long my focus was on going back to where I used to be, the old mountain top. He has shown me that the old mountain top is gone but I learned valuable things there that I can apply to climbing a new mountain top with Him.
Like everything there are steps.....I cannot fight my human nature so completely that with a snap of a finger I can just jump up there. The Lord uses things to teach us, stretch and grow us through discipline and training. We are to "train yourself for godliness" 1 Tim 4:7. So in the same way that I know that I know the Lord can do whatever He wills in whatever way He chooses.....that He can just as easily drop me on that mountain top as cause it to rise up beneath me.....He doesn't want me to arrive there not knowing how I got there. He loves me too much to take away the learning process. If I don't learn how to get there, how will I know how to stay? I have already learned the value of His constant company by having lost it.....not because He left, but because I did. It is never He who leaves or abandons us, it is always us who provides the distance.(Heb.13:5) We get distracted and remove our focus from Him, we walk off to explore instead of walking with Him so closely we can feel His warmth.
So my ultimate goal is to climb that mountain with Him. The first step is to relearn how to hold my mind captive - 2 Cor. 10:5 - so that my flesh does not rule.
Each time I catch myself mumbling, rehearsing, planning a facebook or blog post.....I stop. I apologize and I begin to have the conversation with Him. It is a discipline and a challenge. In the past.....on that old mountaintop......it was out of an earthly need in my heart, an ache that needed filling. I had no idea there was a book about it.....people long before had written journals about their experience in this practice.
"Practicing His Presence" By Brother Lawrence/Frank Laubach
It is small, beautiful and draws me in every time....the sweet familiarity....
Now, in this season as I approach a new mountain....it is not an ache I need filled.....it is a longing for a rekindled relationship, a missing of the closeness we once shared. A void that can only be filled by Him.
The new goal - that can have no timeline - is pursuing the ceaseless conversation.
....I think there is only one step.....talk to Him.
Love and blessings,