7 Aug 2013 by Sojourner’s Tales
When you were a child and you were about to do something that you knew that your parent would punish you for do you remember hearing a small voice in your head? Many times we think of that “voice of conscience” as a product of our upbringing or training or just our own life experiences. At other times we hear that same voice urging us to take a step along a new pathway in our lives and we call it a “hunch” or an “epiphany.” Why is it so seldom that we think of that voice as coming from God?
On the other side of the coin there are times when we hear what we think is the same voice trying to cajole us into doing something that we know we shouldn’t do. At those times we tend to think of that voice as “the devil on our shoulders” or “the devil whispering in our ears.” It is interesting to note that whenever we hear that voice it always seems that there is an internal struggle that accompanies it. That voice never brings us peace when we listen to it. It always seems to start asking for more, and more, or it trys to convince us that whatever it is that we just decided is wrong, or that decision will cause us some kind of emotional pain.
Too many times I’ve ridden down the road gotten caught in a mental loop; a trap that I just can’t seem to break out of where my mind runs through iteration after iteration of “what if…” scenarios. The more I think of those “what ifs” the more upset and distressed I feel. Lately Galatians 5:16,17 has come to my mind in those kinds of situations;
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want.
Those verses confused me for a long time. I wondered why God would want to prevent me from doing what I wanted. Then one day as I was praying I realized that if God only wants what’s good for us, and we so often desire things that aren’t good for us, then of course the Spirit would be opposed to our fleshly desires. Since that day I’ve learned to listen during the times when those “Inner voices” seem to be in conflict. Consistently, over and over when those arguments or “what if” situations occur I find that when I listen to the calmer voice my life seems to flow much easier. Yes, I will admit that those “what if” questions sometimes try to return, but they are so much easier to squash the second, third, or fourth time around.
This morning was a wonderful example of listening to that peaceful voice. The weather was only a little bit overcast even though the weatherman was predicting a 60% chance of showers. Of course this was the day that the car was in the shop, my daughter had to have the truck, and I was left with the motorcycle as my only option to get to work.
The time that it takes me to ride to work is only about 30 minutes. I always make it a point to pray for safety on the road even for such short rides. And to answer the unasked question about praying while riding I’ll tell you; no, I don’t pray with my eyes closed while riding. This morning though was a little different. I also prayed that God would keep me dry on the way in to work. Almost immediately I heard, “then put your rainsuit on!” That wasn’t the answer that I wanted though. That answer would require me to pull over, get the rainsuit out of the saddlebag, and struggle my way into it. In my mind I saw God preventing the rain from falling until I got to work. That’s what I wanted; why couldn’t God just keep me dry? That’s when the “what ifs” started rolling in; along with feelings of worry and anxiety. Knowing that they would just continue to bother me if I allowed them to keep rolling around in my head I pulled over, donned my raingear and was back on the road in less than 5 minutes; completely at peace. About 5 miles down the road when the small “tink” of a raindrop sounded off my facemask I prayed a quick prayer of thanks to God, and immediately had a vision of rain drenching the cloth backpack slung over the bike’s sissybar. That voice came back again saying, “better put the plastic bag over your backpack as well.” This time I had no hesitation at all as I pulled over and got a plastic garbage bag out of one of the backpack’s pockets to cover it with. This time there were no “what ifs,” no worries, and no anxieties. I was completely at peace for the rest of the ride into work. As I pulled into work and prayed a quick prayer of thanks that quiet little voice brought the words of Psalm 91:15a came to mind;He shall call upon me, and I will answer him.
I’ve always been told that God always answers prayer. He answers it with Yes, No or Wait. But that isn’t how someone in a relationship treats another person. I believe that God is more than just a monosylabic entity who gives us simple one word answers. The more often that I listen to that quiet voice the more I know that God wants more too.
7 Aug 2013 by Sojourner’s Tales