Sometimes, silence is golden; especially when you are someone like me who tends to go on and on without a breath in between. When I experience times of silence and isolation it is because I am going through a season where God is showing me something about myself and it takes some time for this blabber-mouth to be quiet enough to “hear” clearly. My “loud” life is filled with the voices from self, the world, and yes, sometimes the enemy. These distractions are so pervasive that they drown out the still small voice of God in my life and cause me to walk aimlessly about; groping for the light that would otherwise light my path and direct me back to my Father.
I heard the Lord speak to me while I walked alone on a clear spring day when the Blue Jay and the Robin sang their love song to the Lord among the swaying trees. It was a peaceful day where the trepidations of my heart were stilled long enough to notice the glory of God in the blue sky among the billowing clouds. It was He and I and although I thought I was going out for a casual day of exercise; God needed to tell me something about myself. He said, “We have a causal relationship when I desire intimacy.” I thought, “But I talk to You every day”, but the Holy Spirit showed me that I failed to draw close to God in a way that was intimate, personal, submitted and real. I realized that it was so true. He helped me to see that true intimacy can be lost in the day to day relating that we do with one another. I found myself “Hooking-Up”, with the Lord but leaving my emotions outside the door.
In church yesterday, our pastor spoke about a current cultural trend called, “Hooking-Up”. A hookup culture is one that accepts and encourages casual sexual encounters, including one-night stands and other related activity, which focus on physical pleasure without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment. As I sat in church shaking my head at the thought of the foolishness of our depraved society, I realized that this new phenomena is not a “New” thing at all! I recalled my sinful past and a life filled with passing casual relationships that we called, promiscuous. There is nothing new under the sun. What I have learned these days, weeks, and months of silence was we can have full everyday contact with others without ever going any further than a casual encounter. This can be with another person or with God. Most of us can say that we speak to God every day in prayer, but sadly most of these conversations are empty repetitive prayers or requests that make us feel good about being a Christian. We become so familiar with these dialogues that we fail to see the emptiness in them as they begin to resemble the conversations we have with each other that are our attempts to maintain a connection to those we say we care about. This small talk consist of “Hi, how’s your day going? What are you doing? How was your weekend? What are you cooking for dinner? We know them well. These seemingly harmless exchanges usually have no ill intentions, but they border on lifeless sentiments that we keep going in order to keep the bonds in our lives from breaking. What I have come to realize about these superficial conversations is that they fail to provide opportunities for intimacy to be developed and for that relationship to blossom into something deep and meaningful.
I have found myself “Hooking-Up” with the Lord just so that I can feel good about praying. I can pat myself on the back and check off my proverbial “Things Christians Do List” while trying to bridge the great divide between me and my God. The distance was evident, but I could not see clear enough to understand the reasons why. How does the gap close? How can the fences be mended and if I reach out and touch, yet again, will I get a response when I have been so distant? Is it possible to return from a place when the feelings of pretense have taken root? You see my Sisters, God doesn’t do casual. It is love at first sight with Him. He holds nothing back but loves completely and overwhelmingly! So, how do we approach God when we have been “away” for so long? He always offers the solution to our dilemma.
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The cares of this world have made us weary with trying. They have become a weight that is easily endured with casual encounters. The heaviness of it all has diverted our attention with distractions that veer us off the course God has set before us. I am tired of the casual empty relationships that I have; especially with my Good, Heavenly Father. He bids me to “Come”. He bids you to “Come”. Love unspeakable.