Leave Your Message After The Beep…

I went to “The Land of No Internet” (aka my great-grandparents’ farm) to spend Thanksgiving with my family. My friend Jason S. referred to it as media dry-out. But my friend Wendy G. flipped out a little over it. When I told her where I was going, her response was a stunned “WHAT?!”—as though she didn’t know how I could possibly live without cable, the internet, Facebook, and Twitter. Actually, it was a welcome break and I didn’t miss any of those things over my few days away.

 

I do enjoy technology and social media. But sometimes I enjoy them a little too much and they become distractions from hearing the voice of God. (Please tell me that I’m NOT the only one!!)

 

As I was slipping into bed Tuesday night, I heard God whispering to me that so often, I live my life on auto-pilot, doing what I think is the right thing, without ever stopping to really talk to God about it. Instead of taking time to have a conversation with Him, I just do whatever I do, while leaving Him “voice mails.”

 

God, thank you for this…

 

God, I need this…

 

God, I want to complain about this…

 

Even my prayers for others have a “voice mail” style.

 

Lord, Heather needs…

 

Lord, can you give Wendy…

 

Father, heal Kristi’s daughter…

 

A relationship just cannot thrive that way! When my close “earthly” friends and I don’t connect on a regular basis, I miss them! I feel the ache, the loneliness, and the void that God sent them to me to fill. And a string of voice mails don’t make up for the lack of time invested in the relationships. So, how much more acute and sharp the pain should be when it’s God—my life, my breath, my everything—that I’m not connecting with!

 

Tuesday night as I lay in bed, I realized that recently, I have been leaving God voice mails again. A lot of voice mails. But I haven’t been taking the time to knock on His door, sit down and talk with Him. And I’ve really missed it.

 

And He has missed me, too.

 

About twenty years ago I heard my evangelist friend, Ken Helser, say that, “God is speaking to us every moment. Our problem is that we don’t have the ears to hear Him.” I believed what Ken was saying even then in my youth and immaturity. I believe that God speaks to me and wants me to hear Him. My prayer has always been that I would hear Him. But sometimes, I get so wrapped up in surviving my life in my own strength that I forget that I only need to stop and listen for His voice.

 

The late Keith Green wrote a lyric that I love in his song, “Trials Turn to Gold.”

 

I’ve tried to see Your plan for me, but I only acted like I knew.

Oh, Lord, forgive the times I’ve tried to read Your mind.

‘Cause You said if I’d be still, then I would hear Your voice…

 

Lord, let me to never be so focused on surviving my life in my own strength that I forget that life is really about forming such a relationship with You that I victoriously live life in Your strength. Help me to be like Moses, who said in Exodus 33:15, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” As the stresses of life become more and more pressing in my life and the lives of those around me, Lord, please help me to remember that You’re my refuge and that You’re waiting patiently for me to pour out my heart to You.

 

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” – Psalm 62:5-8 (NIV)

About Sarah Salter

Comments

  1. Wonderful post, Sarah!

  2. I like it. So often we get in such a rush that we seem to run through our prayers
    almost by rote. This is certainly the time of year to make sure we pause for those quiet times of devotion and thanks……THANKS KC

  3. Sarah Salter says:

    Peter & Kristi – Thank you both!

  4. I always complain about my Cell…I HATE that I have it. To be honest, I am always in the middle of something when it rings….but I am worried that I will need it for the boys at school …..Often, I am in the word when the phone rings. I would rather it be a house phone than cell….I hate being available 24/7 to people…

  5. You’re so NOT alone, Sarah.
    Great post.

  6. Sarah Salter says:

    Kimae- Over Thxgiving, a couple of my cousins were ragging on me about not having texting on my cell phone. I said, “Listen, I am THE easiest person in the world to get up with. I have a home phone, work phone, cell phone, FOUR email addresses, MySpace, FaceBook, and Twitter. If you can’t get up with me in one of those places, you DON’T NEED TO TALK TO ME!” LOL! How available does the world REALLY need me to be? 😉

    Bridget- I love ya, girl! Thanks for letting me know that I’m understood! :-)

  7. I know what you mean. For a while I tried not to be on the internet on Wednesdays and Sundays because I felt I was not giving enough attention to God and to people in my corporal life. Technically I shouldn’t be on now, so obviously I slip up 😉

  8. And you forgot to mention how I freak out when you are in “Neverland”… Anyway. I know what you mean though.. I miss the days when I could go to Uwharrie and lay on the big flat rock by the dam while the boys and Brad strung a rope across the rocks and what little water was there and I would lay and listen to the Lord.. No phone, just the rock, the sky, the voices of the boys in the distance and most of all GOD!!.. So I understand…. Just know that we all miss you when you are where we can’t reach you..

    Love ya,
    B

  9. So you didn’t miss twitter, facebook, social media and all that, but you did miss the people you talk to through those channels, right? Right?! :)

    Can you imagine a friend who leaves a thousand voicemails a day but won’t pick up when you call them back? Or how about if you picked up the phone and instead of having a conversation they proceeded like it was a voicemail? We would think they were crazy! How does God put up with us and our silliness?

    Great post (and glad you’re back)…

  10. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason- Well, of COURSE I missed you! (Well, you a little less than most of the others, because I had your CD to listen to…) And that’s an excellent point! I have no idea how God puts up with me!

  11. Good post, Sarah, and a good lesson for all of us.

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