Listening and Waiting on God .
“It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.” Aristotle
Can I really believe it is possible to be more organized with God? You tell me. How about listening to him, waiting on him, and even losing the worry that constantly creeps in your mind?
Listening seems to be one of the first things our parents try to teach us. Memories ring back of me speaking to my own children...
"DID YOU HEAR ME?"
"LISTEN TO ME"
"WHY DON'T YOU EVER LISTEN?"
"ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?"
"TELL ME WHAT WORDS I JUST USED." aka "Repeat back to me"
"WEREN'T YOU LISTENING TO YOUR TEACHER?"
"DID YOU HEAR WHAT SHE SAID TO YOU?"
"ARE YOU IGNORING ME?"
"WHAT DID THEY TELL YOU?"
I am sure this list would be pages and pages long. Real listening is a skill that we truly want our children to have, but do we have it? Do we listen to God? Being a good listener requires more than a head nod while someone speaks with you, or a head nod when you are praying. Real listening requires respect for actually hearing what the other person is saying. Respect for God and his plan for our lives. Like any skill, it takes practice, and constant self-reminders.
Organization is the other important lesson we want to teach our children. It begins with learning to pick up your toys and put them away. It grows to include picking up your room, dealing with your clothes, later dealing with school work, homework and even later, your social life. My Dad often said you can make it a habit, just do it over and over again.
Learning to be organized allows an individual to handle things in their life more efficiently. You can find things in your room, your bathroom and in your life with ease if you are organized. It is also important to organize information in your brain and your life. Organization is also a skill that takes practice and time to develop. But can you do it with God? Make a plan and hear Him laugh.
My attempts at organization were to sincerely bring about more time with God and more time spent in the Bible. This is the end of February, and you know what? It worked. My Sunday is full of scripture and messages from the weekly sermon. I take notes, I listen carefully. I note all Bible references and draw pretty stars and hearts at important things. (Yep, that is organization) Then Sunday afternoon, Terry and I share together what we each discovered in the lesson and by Sunday night and Monday, I am transferring those notes to my 2019 Christian Planner. I have yet to even use the calendar in it but I fill the pages, every square inch in the Planner:
Reflections: I have a place to list my blessings from last week
Actions: I have a section to list my actions for this new week for me, for God and for others.
Weekly Goals: Pretty self explanatory. Here I write out a small outline of what I want to 'change' or 'add' in my life.
Daily Health Habit Tracker: They have nine areas that I can label as I need to.. mine has: Walking 2 miles on treadmill, or 5-10,000 steps overall; Time with God in the Word; Healthy Food; Family and Friends; Guitar and Piano; Reading; etc.
So I simply check mark each day that I accomplish this. I have been amazed at how much this simple organization has grown my faith. I am up by five each morning and I spend and hour or more in the word, and then daily noting my goal for the day, prayers for the day, Bible verses that pertain to it and thoughts I might have. I make time and love playing the piano and the guitar almost every day. Terry and I make time together every day for each other and for coming together to God.
The First week of January my goals were to LISTEN and WAIT as the Lord works through everything. Now the end of Feb, I realize why those seeds were planted for the overturning in our life a few weeks ago. My stress level is gone. My worry is gone. I have been relieved of the bondage of fear and worry by faith and choice to give it all to God. I had absolutely no control in the abrupt change that occurred, but God has showered me with much more in contentment, sleep, love and laughter.
God will answer my needs and even some of my wants. At the same time, he continues to refine me and grow me into the best person I can be... for Him. The only thing that holds God back from our lives is our own stubborn insistence on doing things our way. Stop fighting yourself. He will turn your pain into a reason to praise him.
Psalm 4:1 "Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer."