Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cereal Serial

Do you ever need a good, swift kick in the pants to hear God's message to you? For years, I have loved reading books, devotionals, articles on God's word written by other people, instructing me on the way to listen to His voice and distinguish it from the voice inside my own head. As inspired as they have made me, however, these writings always left me feeling a bit inadequate, a bit unenlightened, a bit...well, dense. I'm just a normal, 4' 10" working mom dealing with an Irish/Italian temper after all...

My dad, an ordained deacon for over 25 years, used to say in his sermons, "...and I'd be sitting in a pew, reaching for God's hand and listening for His word and I'd say to Him, 'Lord, you're gonna have to KICK me off of this pew with your message because otherwise I'm gonna be too dense to hear it.'" Now, as a parishioner, I would love to hear those words because it made me feel better that this man of God, this chosen speaker, thought he needed some lightning flash of communication in order to be certain of the Lord's intention for him....and commoner as I was, I ALWAYS felt that way. As his daughter, however, I would be puzzled at how he could possibly be praying for illumination since he was one of the most intelligent men I ever knew!

Today, as a grown woman, I understand how he sometimes remained at that crossroads. He knew that his desire for what he should do as a man would often conflict with the path God was laying out for him. I feel like I experience that each day...aarrgghh...

So this morning I was rushing around, getting the kids to school (curse the water polo coach for the 5:30AM practice!), making my bi-weekly call to my parents, doing laundry, paying bills, feeding the dogs, reading my devotionals, and making sure it was all finished by my first appointment at 10:00am. Lo and behold, in the middle of my phone call with my mom, my 10:00am appointment called to tell me it had actually been a 9:00am appointment. Now, part of me was frustrated with myself for needing to reschedule and missing the appointment, but part of me felt like I had won the lottery because now I had an extra hour in my morning! "What to do?" I prayed, knowing the answer but not wanting to listen.

The dedicated and disciplined woman in me would have gotten down to business, finished paying the bills (I had no interest!), started the laundry, etc. But the fun, creative child in me decided to first sit down, have my breakfast and spend 20 minutes watching an episode of The Office. "I have to eat, after all and I can't really DO anything productive while eating," I reasoned. So I prepared my daily breakfast - Fiber One cereal with blackberries and a healthy dose of cinnamon with 1% milk - and no sooner had I sat down to enjoy myself but I (somehow, I still haven't figured out how it happened), knocked my bowl with my wrist and was immediately soaked in cereal and milk.

Normally, I would curse my clumsiness and lack of attention but this time I burst out laughing. "Okay, God, I've got it. No Office, no break, no vacation...I will get back to it and take care of business!!" I quickly stripped my milk stained clothes, changed, washed out the upholstery and started collecting the mail to sort. Yes, God knocked me off the pew...

So there it is...my message for the day. Fun and relaxation is great, of course, whenever there's need for it...God wants us to enjoy life often, I truly do believe. But just frittering my time away rather than taking care of my responsibilities was a waste.

Sometimes God's word to me is filled with peace...usually when I'm anxious. Sometimes God's word to me is strong and clear...usually when I'm about to take a turn on a hurtful, dangerous path. Most of the time, God's word to me is humorous...a playful nudge in the right direction...and I believe that is because he best understands how He created me...joyful, laughing, childlike, ironic. Whatever the delivery, though, I'm so grateful that I understand I must listen and carry out His plan for me and my family so that we will one day be able to hear His message from His own lips. Then we can have a great laugh together...

Hope your day is filled with joy and meaning in whatever way you experience His voice! Have a great one!

No comments:

Post a Comment