Life can get pretty busy. It can get so busy that we may miss out on important stuff.
As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus saw Simon, who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen.
“Follow me,” he said to them, “and I will make you fish for people.”
Immediately they left their nets and followed him.
As the woman arose from her bed into the soft morning light she heard a voice. It said, “Come and talk to Me!”
And she said, “OK, in a minute. First I have to feed the dog, and check my email, and have some breakfast.”
A little while later the Beloved spoke again, “I am waiting!”
And she said, “OK. Right after I finish this crossword puzzle. Then I’ll get another cup of tea and a sweater, and I’ll meet You out in the garden. It won't be long.”
“Come and talk to Me!” the Beloved said a few minutes later.
But she said to herself, “This dog needs a bath. The carpet has to be vacuumed, the plants haven’t been watered.... There are a lot of things to do.” And she went on with her work.
Later that morning the woman heard the voice again, “Come and talk to Me!”
And she said, “OK. But first I need to return a couple of phone calls, run a few errands, and go to visit some folks in the hospital.”
That afternoon the Beloved called again,“Come and talk to Me!”
“OK. I will,” she said, “later, after we’ve finished dinner and I’m back from the board meeting.”
As she pulled the car into the garage that evening, the voice called out of the star-filled sky: "Come and talk to Me!"
But there were calls on voice mail that had to be returned, emails to answer, meeting minutes to be transcribed, notes to look over in preparation for the next day. “In a little while,” she said.
It was a little before 2 a.m. when the woman realized she had nearly fallen asleep at her desk. Shaking herself awake, she turned off the computer and headed up the stairs to bed.
“I’m waiting,” the voice whispered softly.
Surely she ought to be well-rested before undertaking something so important. After all, we should be at our best when meeting the Holy One.
“I’ll talk to You tomorrow, when I’ve got more time.” she said.
* * * * * * *
Have you noticed how easy it is to put God on hold? There are always a million reasons to postpone our quiet times for meditation, or prayer, or Scripture study. A telephone call, a knock on the door, papers to be filed, leaves to be raked, a pile of dirty laundry.... the most mundane event can distract us from a conversation with the Beloved.
But if our cell phone rings ... wham! We’re on it in an instant, frantically pawing through a purse or pocket as if a missed call might never come again. A co-worker, friend, child or spouse may be sitting next to us — yet we will turn away in order to give our undivided attention to the little talking box.
If Moses lived today I suspect he’d ignore the burning bush if his cell phone was ringing.
I wonder why that is so.
Why do we rush to grab the phone, but find excuses to avoid meeting the One Who Loves Us Utterly?
Is it because we know the Eternal is always there, always waiting and ready: do we take that Connection for granted? Or are we afraid that God might send an uncomfortable message, asking us to bless or forgive or change our ways? Perhaps we don’t want to be disturbed; having grown accustomed to life as it is, we’d really be upset if Christ suddenly called us to begin a new work for the Kingdom.
When Jesus said, “Follow me,” Simon and Andrew literally dropped everything to hear His words and learn His ways. They did not hesitate or delay. They didn’t tell Jesus, “We’ll have finished hauling in this catch in an hour or so. If you’re still around maybe we can talk then.”
Those early disciples were flawed in many ways: often confused, occasionally stubborn, sometimes losing their faith. But they knew the importance of answering when they were called.
And, because they answered, they witnessed miracles. They saw the sick made well and a madman restored to his right mind, they were there when the hungry were fed, the sinful were forgiven, and a dead man was restored to life. Later, they themselves would bring the transforming message of the Gospel to others.
There is nothing wrong with being busy: most of us have many responsibilities to family, friends, school, career, and community. But we must not allow these things — not even our “good works” — to become excuses to avoid conversations with the Beloved.
Balance is essential. Prayer is essential — otherwise we can get so caught up in what we do that we forget Who we follow, and why. Prayer calms us down, gives us perspective, and keeps us focused on what is Ultimately Important.
It only takes a few moments to ready ourselves for holy listening: a few deep breaths, a comfortable posture, releasing all sense of hurry and every demand for an “answer.” The preparation itself is a sacred work: establishing a sanctuary — a safe and tranquil space — as a part of each day. Within that sweet silence we will be able to truly hear.
And, when God calls: answer!
Virtual hugs and real-time blessings,
Take some quiet time each day — even if for only a few minutes — to quiet the worldly noise and listen to the sweet voice of the Beloved.