Friday, June 24, 2011

How to Hear

For all of my make-believe, put-on smartness, I'm learning more everyday about my foolishness.

Most of it is hind-sight-obvious in a way that makes me want to crawl under something and hide for a while.

But hiding requires darkness and I want these truths to grow, so here I am, scattering the seeds of confession out into the sunshine of you.

The truth is, I've never been a good Bible reader.

Doesn't that sound dumb? Who says something like that?

Well, I've said it secretly to myself a million times, but I've probably never said it out loud until today.

I have found the Bible boring, sometimes. I've always believed in its power and it's searing truth, but, you know, I've heard it all before. In the way I prefer not to watch the same movie twice or read a good book again, I mostly concluded that I already knew what was in there. And, PS, a lot of it isn't as feel-good as I would hope.

I would go through spurts. I never let it get too dusty, because my secret thoughts aside, I knew enough to know that a nice, Christian girl has to put in her time. It felt good when I put a check in that little box.

All the while, I read books. Big stacks of books that entertained and transported me.

I mostly read fiction, but a few nights ago, I started reading Radical Together, by David Platt. We had listened to his "Radical" series over a year ago. (It's also in book form.) It flipped us end over end and we're still not fully upright. I hope that it stays that way. Having had my world already rocked, I sort of thought this newest book would be more of a reminder of what I already understood.

Then I got to the part about the Word of God and every life-shattering thing that it is.

In our lives and in the church , we are never without a revelation from God. At all times you and I have his message to use in all its power, authority, clarity and might. We don't have to work to come up with a word from God; we simply have to trust the word he's already given us. - David Platt, Radical Together

The loose, hazy notion that I was missing something gripped tight around my heart and I understood something very fundamental for the very first time. I ask and ask and ask, I pray and beg for God to speak to me, to make clear his purpose in my life. I know that my salvation does not rest in the number of hours that I read. I know that I walk with Him daily. He's right here, right this moment. I've never doubted that. But in all of my blind asking and clenched-jaw seeking, in all of my fears that His voice is too quiet or my ears don't work right, I'm not going to the place where he speaks the loudest. I'm here boo-hooing about not getting to talk to my best friend and all the while the phone sits bored and worthless on the charger.

His word never changes. It is relevant today. He knew every circumstance we would face, so he made sure to cover all of it. It's not about what we are supposed to be doing. It's not about doing a chore in order to make Him happy. I personally don't think he cares when we read or how much we read. But if we say we need answers from him, then it makes no sense not to pick them up off the bedside table. They're already there.

Right now we are seeking. We're begging for directions.

It only took 35 years, but I finally understand where I will find them.