Assuming first that this word spoken, this whisper is actually the most important thing in the world—more important than our frenetic activity…
… more important than our church involvement
… more important than our spiritual gifts,
… more important than our agendas…
After all, Jesus heard this word spoken to him prior to anything he did. At his baptism, before his public ministry began, Jesus heard the words that I believe we are all ultimately longing to hear:
“You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.” (Mark 1:11 CEB)
In order to hear that, I’d like to believe that most of us would say, “Well, I’ll do anything!”
And so that’s what we do. We sign on for the latest book, the latest bible study, the newest church, the best set of spiritual friends we can.
But lately I’ve been disturbed by something else.
In order to hear the voice of God, would you be willing to sit in a chair and do nothing for 6 hours?
Because most of the time that slowing down, that resting, that ceasing is what we need to do in order to hear that voice, that word, that whisper.
And most of us don’t want to go there; I know I hesitate.
Truth is, I hesitate because before I hear God’s voice, I know I’m going to hear a lot of other voices that aren’t nearly as pleasant….
… And they aren’t the least bit interested in calling me dearly loved.
What I have found is that all my ministry activities and running and laughing and meetings and small groups and “churching” and serving and traveling and worship orders and presentations and writing(!) and one-on-ones and lunches and phone calls and coffee and committee meetings…
… are actually keeping these other, nastier voices at bay.
And at the first sign of me slowing down, they come roaring in.
This is terrifying, and I am tempted to start running again.
But one of the promises of faith that I am struggling to hold on to is the thought that God wants to speak—indeed already is speaking—this first word of belovedness to me and to you.
I just have to hear it. I just have to hear it, and sometimes that means fighting through all these other voices, these shouts of death and destruction, in order to get to God’s voice. These other voices lie and tell me that they are my “first words”, but they’re not.
God has the first word in my life, and in yours…
And that first word is “In you I find happiness.”
The invitation is…
- slow down
- fight through the voices
- embrace the first word in your life