This post is a response to ‘Laurie’s’ comment to my “How Do You Find a Church?”
I think we hear God when we get quiet enough. When we journal. When we talk to people who have wisdom beyond our own. When we have long soulful conversations until 2 a.m. with a glass of wine (usually red). When we get close to ‘the fire.’ Times when we break our routine and open a window – preferably, but not necessarily, to the right direction. I know I often hear God when I exercise intensely. That’s why I like running by myself and never take music, those things take over the experience and I seldom hear from God.
BUT, more than any so-called Spiritual experiences I am convinced, like you, Laurie, that God just hangs out and waits for chances to tap our shoulders and get our attention. More often than not we don’t need deep spiritual wisdom from God, just a good reminder of what God taught us long ago. Typically the label on the back of my credit card that says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.” (Hebrews 13.5) is all I need to hear from God when I want to buy something.
Is there any sense to the notion that it isn’t so much ‘how God speaks to us’ as ‘how DOESN’T God speak to us?’
After all, The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies proclaim God’s handiwork. (Psalm 19.1) Sounds like it must be hard NOT to be hearing and seeing God’s presence all the time.
Funny you mention the running. A few years ago, I met with our parish priest to talk about “how” to pray. Nothing seemed to be working for me. He suggested I look at the things I do on a daily basis–things that afford me time alone, things I love to do–all as a form of prayer. Running was that to me. Since then, I’m a fan of quiet runs as well (except those days when I’m with a partner or, for one reason or another, I need to have a little mindless time to myself).
I actually did a little experiment last summer with music on my runs. I ran the same route (which included a fairly crowded loop around Lake Nokomis) with headphones one day and without the next. It amazed me how much more I saw without the tunes. How many more people I looked in the eye (who didn’t look back for their own music!).
Turning down the volume (chaos?) helps, but it’s not always the easiest or most comfortable thing. In the long run (no pun intended), I think it’s worth the work. Guess I could try it in other areas, too. Homework.