One of the things I learned during the dark days and nights was to listen for God. There are some disciplines that I believe make this possible. I slowed down. My days were filled with work and meetings and baseball and trying to make life work after the life I knew was taken away. It really wasn’t fair. I didn’t want a divorce. I didn’t want to fail. My faith tradition had shown me at an early age that a divorced person was no different than the unclean – a leper who was to be banished. Fortunately, my church took a very different approach and pulled me even closer. Fortunately friends let me know that failing was a thing of yesterday, not today, and to keep moving forward. The challenge in all of it was that I wanted to beat myself up. There were days I felt like a monster, felt as if driven by inner demons I could not tame nor remove. Busyness helped cover the problem. So how to listen for God?
The Old Settlers Reunion Ground in Decatur is an interesting place. Lots of old ramshackle cabins and new metal buildings that natives of Wise County inhabit for a solid week in Decatur to remember ancestors, renew friendships, eat home cooking, drink some beer and have a great time. Near the pavilion is a large tree that’s limbs span 50 feet I would guess. Under the tree is an old wooden picnic table that became my place of solitude, a place to stop and, with best effort, clear my mind to hear God. I would take a journal with me and write down whatever I felt God laid on my heart that day. Some days the journal was blank but it was my time to STOP. To be quiet and listen. Other days, I came to the same place to read the Bible; to read God’s imparted word and learn from his dreams and plans and ways that were spoken there. To hear from him.
Listening for God is one of the greatest joys I have known. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. And he does speak when I will make the time to hear him.
I miss that time. I’m so busy now.
Grace and peace.