by Kristin Bonham
On “Cyber Monday” I found it really hard to stay focused and not get sucked into cyber space filling up virtual shopping carts! I was just thinking the other day about the Beautiful Experiment we did over the summer in the attempt to realign priorities. I did so good cleaning out closets, eliminating stuff and here there I was tempted to fill them up again!
During the experiment, God really showed me that He wants more room in my life and that there will always be things that could take away from the room I could give Him. What I’m realizing is that the temptations are right in front of me and they are usually never a surprise. Why do I act like I didn’t see it coming?!
I know this will be a total shock to all of you, but the two things that keep me distracted the most are business and laziness. I know! It makes no sense! I seem to go in cycles of being crazy busy where I am juggling multiple things and can “take care” of everything on time with my house clean. Then when I have any down time, I find it difficult to peel myself off my comfy chair and engage.
I want to find a steady normal speed and stop the crazy cycle. I have been thinking a lot about it and I decided I’m not waiting for the New Year to get things in order and hear from God on the subject. So, a few dayes ago, I threw my desperation on God and I’m listening. I have eliminated a few things that are no brainer time wasters and I’m asking God to show me how to fully live again.
I love The Message version of the Bible. Eugene Peterson has such a way of describing things that connect with my heart. If you have never read the introductions to the books of the Bible you are reading, I encourage you to. These words from the Intro to Habakkuk spoke so strongly to me yesterday.
The prophet Habakkuk is upset that God is going to use Babylon to punish His people. So he tells God what he thinks, “God, you don’t seem to make sense!” But then He does something even more important: He waits and he listens. It is in this waiting and listening – which then turns into his praying – that he found himself inhabiting the large world of God’s sovereignty. Only there did he eventually realize that the believing-in-God life, the steady trusting-in-God life, is the full life, the only real life.
I was feeling pretty good after reading this and journaling about it and telling God all that I was feeling because of it. I started moving through my day with a new sense of peace that God would help me and that I would again find the full life, the only real life. And then I heard Him. In my heart, I heard a whisper, “you didn’t wait and listen”. Ugh, He was right! I thought I was listening but I was still listening the way I do in the crazy cycle, with three other things going on at the same time!
So today, I am listening. I will shut my mouth, I will surrender my anxious thoughts, I will wait, and I will listen. And tomorrow, I will do it again.
Do you find it difficult sometimes to wait and listen? Share your comments below!
Kristin Bonham is a pastor’s wife and the Women’s Ministry Director at Grace Family Church. She and Chris have been married for 25 years and have three children; Taylor, Abby and Casey. She loves the beach, New York City and traveling with Chris. She collects books and reads some of them. Her favorite part of the week is Sunday lunch with her family and friends around the table.