THE ART OF LISTENING

I love a good meme.

And I also don’t.

I forget how beautifully quiet the world is when I’m not on Facebook. I forget how God made me to be a listener, not a sponge for other people’s thoughts and opinions.

I get back on sometimes because I mistakenly believe I have to be a “normal” person (or a “normie” as I like to call them). I have to scroll and read and like so I can remind myself that I have friends.

But I don’t have to do any of that. I can be a friend by sacrificing my time and offering an ear, one-on-one.

And I don’t have to post it to prove it.

I don’t have to subject myself to the degradation of others. I don’t have to subject myself to the onslaught of noise.

I am in control of what I want to absorb. And if it’s not Christ-like, what good does it to know it? To hold it in my heart?

Because if I’m not on the ready to receive God’s word, I might just blink and miss it.

And no meme in the world is worth something like that.

None, whatsoever.

“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 11:15

#facebookhiatus

DISTANT BUT SOCIAL

A few weeks ago, I socialized.
 
Distantly.
It was much needed. A few friends (under 10) and I got together a healthy six feet apart in our church parking lot and talked.
T-A-L-K-E-D.
This post is about how I’m horrible at talking in groups.
Like, HORRIBLE. It’s a tennis match for me, and I feel like I’m constantly dodging tennis balls, trying to find the right moment to speak up.
Because here’s the thing: I don’t even want to say anything. I like listening to my friends. I like making mental checklists of what everyone’s going through so I can pray about everything later.
But it would be really weird if I just showed up, smiled and kept nodding at everyone.
Or maybe not. Can I do that?
No.
Okay, fine.
But the REAL point of this post isn’t about how horrible I am at talking.
The REAL point, no scratch that, POINTS, are these:
1. My friends are some of the most grace-filled people I’ve ever met. And that’s pretty evident considering they keep inviting me to things even though I probably wear a pained a expression most of the time, concentrating on when to say anything halfway coherent.
2. The Holy Spirit is real. God is real. Which is evident by the hope I have in my heart driving me to be social (distantly, in this case) when I’m a natural introvert who loathes the concept of other people. You should have met me when I was an atheist. I was a real charmer.
3. I won’t give up. This a different side of myself from the person I used to be. The old me would have just said “Never mind!” and driven back home before I even got to the parking lot. But I’ve been determined to grow and challenge myself because God doesn’t want me to be stagnant.
I’ll still learning. I’m still putting my foot in my mouth and starting sentences I never finish because I’m not great at using my “outside voice” (the concept of which makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit). But I’m not going to let Satan tell me I’m not good enough to have friends. To be loved. To give and receive mutual respect.
I need to be there for them. And I need them to be there for me.

MY CORONA VIRUS GAME PLAN

Things are different.

And I’m not scared.

I’ve always been good with change. We used to move around a lot and it got to the point that I craved it.

In fact, I sometimes get bored sitting here in one place.

And since five years ago, since those evenings when I was locked tight and couldn’t move in bed, and I could literally see what hell will be like (ask me about my testimony some time. It’s a real trip), I haven’t worried about God’s decisions.

Right now? I’m sitting quietly, softly applauding Him.

Fear is a curious thing. It likes to act like it’s own animal that’s bigger and stronger than you.

When in reality, it’s just a cockroach under your shoe.

Because when it comes down it, the fear of God is the only fear worth harboring.

I had to learn that. I had to train my brain, renew my mind as Paul implores, and realize that I AM EVERYTHING GOD CREATED (Romans 12:2).

I’m not a small part of me. I’m not my fear. I have been equipped to live through this time and any other moment He hands me.

However, for the past two days, I’ve felt lethargic. Tired bordering on depressed. Being the numbskull I am, I had a hard time figuring out why.

Sometimes the enemy’s deception can be a little tricky to figure out.

I realized through prayer, through wrenching my mind and heart out of that particular malaise, that he wants me to crave sleep and complacency.

Because I have time now, my friends, to make a difference in my life and the life of others.

Wouldn’t it be awesome for Satan if he made us feel dull, tired, and afraid?

(Not to mention distracted by a million memes, but I digress).

Here’s what I request:

  • READ YOUR BIBLE. You have the time now. Get to it. Learn what God needs you to know. Here’s the Bible study I’m using: http://www.thebiblerecap.com/start
  • CREATE PRAYER TIME. Prayer is an active endeavor and deserves the respect necessary to take priority in our lives. God DESERVES that respect. Let’s thwart the negativity that can come with a situation like this with hearts crying out to the Almighty.
  • DO SOMETHING GOD IS CALLING YOU TO DO. Ever feel like you were made to do something? That’s how I feel about writing. And by pushing off my talent that God gave me and wants me to use for his purposes is sinning, my friends. Don’t be like I’ve been these past two days. Give God all of you and complete His will.

None of this is easy. I’m not saying that. But God has an incredible way of taking our hands and leading us down the road and somehow, it ends up being far less bumpy than we had ever imagined.

#coronovirus #COVID19