Tag Archives: listening to God

The Bouncing Ball

In case you don’t know (having had the sense to avoid all sing-along movies for the last eighty-nine years) the bouncing ball is a little animated dot that bounces brightly along the words of a song to keep the sing-along-ers in time (and on the right word!) ¬†It says – THIS IS WHERE WE ARE – PAY ATTENTION.

In my extensive research ūüôā I read just now that when the bouncing ball began life in September 1925 it wasn’t even animated, but a studio employee bounced a tennis ball on a long stick merrily along the words of My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean. Wikipedia even tells me that on the latest sing-along version of Disney’s Frozen the little ball has become a bouncing snowflake… *shudder* As if there can be anyone left in the world who doesn’t already know all the words…

Enough history… I don’t think God gave me this picture this morning so I could celebrate 89 years of sing-a-long movie technology…

The ball is all about focussing your attention on what needs to be done right now, on what is happening right now.  As I said РTHIS IS WHERE WE ARE NOW, PAY ATTENTION.

It helps avoid confusion between that and what’s coming next, or what’s just gone. And it makes you keep a steady time. ¬† Someone put it there, on purpose, to help you stay in the right moment. ¬†And let’s face it, the whole thing sounds better if the vocalists are in time with the music!

To follow the metaphor, I am the kind of person who rushes ahead to the chorus instead of letting the verse play out. And although the chorus often has a better tune, the words of the verse are nearly always more interesting.

But the message I’m hearing through this week’s postcard is: Focus on the now. Don’t get distracted by the just gone and the not yet. Learn. Keep time. Find me in the present.

So that’s what I’m going to try to do.

I’m cheating a little because I wrote this poem for my very first post… but I’m all for recycling… and since I seem to need to hear things more than once, I’m going to assume that it might help you too…

I search for you:
I strain ahead to look for you
to see where we will go together
Longing to know, longing to be there, longing to see
and I just glimpse your face through the mist.

I turn around to look back
at the place I saw you last
felt your touch, saw you move, joined the dance
but it's gone.

and yet
when I open my eyes
I see you are with me now

bouncing ball feat

What about you? What is God saying to you through this picture? Do you need to rewind or fast forward to get your focus on to what God is doing now?

“Have you seen my phone?”… A lesson in listening

This is my phone… ¬† ¬†It’s set to silent… ¬† ¬†I’ve lost it.

This happens to me way too often. ¬†I’m actually pretty good at remembering to set my phone to silent for church meetings, school music recitals etc. But I never¬†remember to turn it back onto loud again afterwards. ¬†If I want to be able to hear it above the background music of my world (guitars, computer games, disney channel, noisy five-year old) then I have to leave it set to what the kids call ‘old lady loud’. ¬†But once again, I’ve forgotten and I’ve put it down ‘somewhere’. ¬†Argh.

In a moment, when I’ve finished writing this, I’m going to go on a hunt for it. ¬†But first I’ll go round and turn¬†off everything that makes a noise: ¬†Youtube, the water cooler, the extractor hood, the tinkerbell movie that Katie is watching and anything else I can think of. ¬†Then I’ll confiscate my son’s guitar and beg¬†everyone to be quiet, just for five minutes, so that I can HEAR.

And then I’ll call my phone from the landline and walk slowly around the house straining to hear any slight sound of my phone vibrating in it’s hiding place. ¬†And if¬†I begin to hear it I’ll hone in my search to one room until I eventually find it.. down the side of the sofa or in a ¬†pocket or on a shelf (or in the toybox.)

So for five or ten minutes of my day because I really want to hear something I will listen for it –¬†really listen.

I’m really hoping that some of you who read this will be thinking “yes, I’ve done that” because it will really help you to get what I think God has to say to us today..

When I lose my silent phone I make space to listen for a barely audible whisper.  I consciously turn off the noise that would interfere with my ability to hear and I listen hard.  And the last time this happened, I heard God say,

“I want you to listen for my voice like that”

So I’m thinking about blocking off some time in my diary, just for listening to God. ¬†For me, turning off noise has to mean not being in the house (where there are a million jobs shouting at me that they need to be done). ¬†So I’ll go for a walk somewhere quiet. ¬†For you it might mean the last ten minutes of the day, or sneaking somewhere at lunchtime, or locking yourself in the bathroom…

But will you find a way to make some space,  take some time, turn off some noise so that you can hear the still small voice of God this week? Who knows what things He has to say to you?  Who knows what revelation He is longing to share with you; who knows what part of His word He wants to bring to life for you; who knows what comfort or encouragement He wants to bring to your heart?

I don’t… but I bet it’s worth you finding out.

 

listeningfeature

Still small voice
On the edge of my hearing
help me to still my noisy soul

Still small voice
constantly calling
spill your milk and honey out
over my heart

reflect white

 

The challenge for this week is to spend some time listening to God’s voice and write down what you hear him say… ¬†for those new to listening for the voice of God there are some starting guidelines here.