Ever have one of these times in your life - I think God is now throwing bricks at me, trying to get me to listen as I should.
First - yesterday came the brick story from my sister. "THE BRICK
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door!
He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.
The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the nearest kid and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, 'What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money Why did you do it?'
The young boy was apologetic. 'Please, mister...please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do,' He pleaded. 'I threw the brick because no one else would stop...' With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. 'It's my brother, 'he said 'He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up.'
Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, 'Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me.'
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay. 'Thank you and may God bless you,' the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy! push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.
It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: 'Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!' God whispers in our souls and speaks to our hearts. Sometimes when we don't have time to listen, He has to throw a brick at us. It's our choice to listen or not."
There was more, but it started me thinking about little things I have been putting off (like keeping my quiet time a priority; loosing weight so I am still around for my kids weddings, grandkids, etc.; being the mom I long to be (not martha stewart type, just the kind who takes time to enjoy things with her kids; finally de-cluttering and letting go of old things because all they do is take up space and bring no joy; getting letters I want to write done and out; even scrapbooking is taking a backseat to things that I don't enjoy or feel like doing, but routines I return to).
Ok - so I decide - time to go on and do things I know I should do. Rush through the day - no real change, but hey, I had some good intentions for a few minutes.
Find out my younger brother is in the hospital. They don't know what is wrong, so they are running tests. Hmm - yes, I did turn right to God - He is always there for us, but I keep putting my quiet time with Him down in my list - sometimes I forget (more often than I want). (BTW: currently they are suspecting Dengue fever - I am so thankful that God has given doctors and nurses the insight they need)
This morning - I think, I have time, kids are asleep, if all else, I will get my quiet time back on track - but first (oh no - here it comes) I can quickly check email. Well - you know how that goes - 45 minutes later I click to Kiera's blog - oh boy (btw: thanks for your message) - she is discussing how there are hard things in life we need to do - they are worth the sweat (hmm, thinking weight now) and how God is with us through everything (hmm, thinking quiet time) and how hard things are normally good things (hmm - remembering a Christian comedian kids were listenting too - one of his lines is "hard and hard is good"). I keep hearing this message of things may be hard for me, but they will be good.
Well - do some more things - go back to check email - my Proverbs 31 devotion arrives with "You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing.” Isaiah 42:20 (NIV) as the verse. Ok - this is exactly what I have been doing. I think I am getting the brick. Reading through the devotion, I see myself more clearly than usual. The devotion went:
Little Noises by Marybeth Whalen
“You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing.” Isaiah 42:20 (NIV)
The squeaking that was coming from under the hood of my car was getting louder and louder, to an unavoidable degree. “Mom,” my son said as he got out of my car in the carpool line at school, “Please do something about that. It’s embarrassing.” I had to admit he was right. Something was definitely wrong with my car. The funny noise was a warning sign to attend to the problem lest I end up stranded on the side of the road with smoke billowing from the hood. Even though the noise was annoying and embarrassing, I had to admit I was grateful for the chance to attend to a problem before it got serious.
Whether it’s a squeak, a ping, a knock, or a rattle, we all have those little noises in our life as well. And even though they might drive us crazy, we have to admit that they can serve a great purpose. We need to be alerted to the more serious underlying problems that exist, lurking where we might not see them. God is gracious to provide those for us—if we will only learn to listen and respond. Those noises might annoy us, nag at us, and be most unwelcome sounds, but just think where we might end up without them!
There is that whiny sound that comes from a child who needs your attention and affirmation—an indication that perhaps a special day for just the two of you or a heart-to-heart conversation is needed.
There is that grumbling sound that comes from a husband who is feeling neglected—an indication that regular date nights need to be reinstituted in your marriage, and that less time should be spent on distractions and more time spent on him.
There is that rumbling earthquake noise that comes from a boss who has made one too many little comments about your job performance—an indication that it’s time to pray for God’s wisdom and for job security in these uncertain times.
There is that loud chainsaw noise that comes from bills that are stacking up and creditors that are calling—an indication that it might be time to get some help with managing your money.
There is that nails on chalkboard sound of all those little worries that nag at you—an indication that it’s time to get intentional about turning your worries and doubts over to God, laying them at His feet and trusting Him to take care of the rest.
Most of all, there is the noise of a gentle, rushing wind that is God’s constant whisper calling out to us—an invitation to draw close to Him and experience His presence, banishing the loneliness, hurt and rejection when we do.
What little noises are you hearing in your life? Do you need to attend to them now before a relationship suffers, or you lose something valuable? It’s hard to stop in the midst of all our busyness and attend to things that aren’t quite urgent yet. Still, those little noises are often big indicators of much deeper issues. Don’t ignore the warning signs in your life. Ask God to help you hear them when you need to. I know I need to turn my ear towards those noises instead of away from them as I am prone to do. Ignoring them won’t make them go away. I don’t want to end up on the side of the road in my relationships, my job, or my life because I didn’t pay attention to those little indicators that something was wrong.
Dear Lord, I need You to draw my attention to those little noises in my life. Sometimes I get so busy and forget to listen. And sometimes I hear them but I just ignore them because I don’t want to deal with what’s not right in front of me. Lord, I know those noises are little indicators of bigger problems lurking. Help me to hear them and respond before it’s too late. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Even typing this, I can feel God in my heart letting me know that He will be there as I tackle some very difficult obsticles for me. They may not be hard for a lot of other people, but they are not easy for me what-so-ever. I feel a need to blog about this - not quite sure why - so here goes.
My journey to get back into shape and maintain God as the center of my life begins this morning. First - prayers and quiet time, then exercise. I am not an exercise buff, so getting going will be the first challenge. I enjoy fruits and veggies, but don't take the time to prepare what I like, often eating whatever is there because it is quick. Plus, I have a sweet tooth and not nearly the self control I should.
So, for today, I will remember, "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1. Though my noises are not loud, I know they should be addressed, sooner rather than later. God will help me. Isn't it wonderful that He is a God who we can talk to on a daily basis about our needs, as well as those of others. He is always there, no matter how large (or small) our needs. He knows them all.