Are we hearing God?

Something most of you probably don’t know is that I have hearing aids.  My hearing loss comes from my days on the farm and being around loud tractors and grinders, and of course back in those days one didn’t think about hearing protection. Anyway, there’s a certain frequency range that I have hearing loss...thus the hearing aids.

One of the great features of my hearing aids is that they can “connect” with my cell phone and work as a speaker for my cell phone and are directly in my ears.  So, I can hear the caller, music, or whatever I choose to play through my cell phone, through my hearing aids.  

Remember last week, how I mentioned in my reflection how I recently did some “big city” driving??  Well, I used my cell phone’s navigation app to help me get to where I needed to go. It was great…I had this voice in my head (through my hearing aids) giving me step by step direction on where to turn, etc.  Every time I used that feature, I always arrived at my destination.  

Recently I was telling someone about my hearing aids connecting with my cell phone and how I could hear calls, navigation directions, and other information through them.  They thought that was really great.  As we talked about life and faith, my friend made the comment, “If only God would talk to us that way and I could hear God in my head, that would be really great. You know, turn here, follow that rule, don’t do that, believe this. If God would only take the guess work out of this Jesus ‘following’ thing, that would make things easier.”

We laughed about it, but I also know my friend was sort of serious. I’ve heard other people make the same statement, “If only God would just tell us what to do!”  Now, some would say that God has told us what to do.  God has given us direction in the Bible.  That’s true.  Yet the Bible doesn’t always clearly speak to every situation we face in this journey of life.  That’s when my friend, and me too at times, wish God would show up and give a specific word for that moment – that we’d hear the clear voice say, “Keith…do this.” 

However, the truth is, that isn’t the way that the Bible or God necessarily works, and I believe that is intentional.  Our faith and our “following” of Jesus would become mindless, thoughtless, heartless, maybe even meaningless if it was reduced to just following a set of commands.  Actually, that was a part of the Hebrew people’s journey of faith.  God gave them 10 commandments.  The people proceeded to make more commands for themselves to follow, but ultimately, just having commands to follow didn’t provide the faithful connection with God that was desired.

You see, God isn’t looking for thoughtless actions, God is looking for mindful presence.  God isn’t seeking robotic response, God is seeking heartfelt living, responding to the great commandment; “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength AND love your neighbor as yourself.” In fact, I believe at times God wants us to struggle with what we should do, what direction we should take, what attitude to live.  The struggle shows our connection to the journey and experience of being a disciple – a follower of Jesus.

Today may we each live out our journey of faith, not as a thought-less gesture but as a mindful response of God’s love in the world that has touched each of our lives…and asks us to do the same.  Love one another – in all the forms that can take.  And remember…we’re all struggling together on this journey!! That is what makes a “faith family” so important -  we share the journey!

Serving Together,

Pastor Keith