Today, I’m responding to another question that came in when I did the sermon on our “Faith Questions.” The question is: “How do we help ourselves and others learn to take time to listen to God’s calls/signs/whispers?”
That’s a great question, and to be honest, it’s something that has always been a challenge for me as well. We live in a world full of “noise.” There are many voices and sounds that we hear, and they can distract us from hearing God’s voice. Phones, text messages, email, messenger, radio, TV, mp3’s, facebook, blogs, twitter, family, friends…there are a ton of things all vying for our attention.
Sometimes I find myself wondering “Where is God’s voice? What is God saying to me?”
But I’m asking the wrong question. It’s not that God has stopped working in our lives, or speaking to us. It’s that I’ve lost my ability to “tune in” to hear what God is saying.
I think of spirituality as the process of seeking the voice of God (often a still, small voice) and the presence of God in a world where God can frequently feel hidden, because of everything else that is going on in my life. Like an old-school radio tuner, (remember those, with the dial, and as you’d turn the tuning dial, you’d hear static, until eventually you’d begin to hear, and then tune in to, and then lock into the sound of the radio station you were looking for?) our spirituality is a matter of tuning through the static, until we hear the voice of God, and then locking on to that. And occasionally, our tuning drifts, but then we re-tune.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
– Psalm 46:10
So how do we hear that voice? It’s going to be different for all of us. It’s a matter of finding your space, your way that you can tune out. For me, there are some places where it is easy: When I’m in the Boundary Waters…everything else kind of melts away and I find I can tune in to God easily. I’ve also experienced that when I’ve been a part of a small group that has gone deep in its conversations and its faith talk. I’ve experienced that in moments in worship when Word, Sacrament or music lifts my spirit.
I don’t believe that we have to look for God. God promises to be with us. But we do have to look for where we can most easily hear, see and experience God.
Where is your place? Where do you most easily hear?
Seek out those places and times. And hear God’s voice, whispering in your ear.