Monday, July 26, 2010

Your Servant is Listening

God speaks all the time, through His sunrises and through the kindness of those we encounter in congested rush hour traffic.  Sometimes it's as big as the formation of mankind itself; sometimes it's as small as the cry of one newborn.  Sometimes, if we are not quiet, if we are not seeking His direction, if we are closed off from fellowship with Him, we will miss it.  This week, I almost missed it; in fact, I'm still not completely sure what it is.

The morning radio program I listen to on weekdays has featured a series on friendship: how to choose friends, the importance of friendship, the consequences of allowing circumstances to choose your friends for you.  Helpful, I thought, especially since I have been deeply wounded by friends, and I do not actively seek or desire relationships.  Additionally, there was a lot of valuable information I could pass on to my children.

Then there was an incident in which I felt betrayed by someone who unknowingly made some statements that injured me.  I felt alone, and I lashed out.  I thought I'd uncovered the Godspeak in that, when I realized that I had put my confidence in someone other than the omniscient God I desire to serve and, through no fault of his own, my friend did not "perform" the way I had anticipated.  Shame on me for feeling alone, when God is always with us!  But, He was not finished.

There was the debate over the benefits of sending Christine to school as opposed to continuing to homeschool.  It was pretty much the same arguments: socialization, a "taste of the real world," routine and responsibility.  I won't get into all the back-and-forth that occurred in my head, but my position on "socialization" remains the same as always:  How often do good teens change the lives of "bad teens" for the better?  How often does it work in reverse?

Lastly, came 3 John 1, this morning's devotions.  This letter from The Elder to Gaius speaks of two very different men that were at work in the church of his day. One, Demetrius was known as a man of good character, a man of truth; the other, Diotrephes was a slanderer who had issues with authority, who "put himself first," who bullied others into conforming to his truth less ways.  Clearly, the Elder encourages his reader to follow the example of the former, Demetrius friend of the church.

So what did all this talk of friendship and examples, all these adages and verses mean?  Is God encouraging me to put the hurt of past relationships aside, and open my heart to new friendship?  Is God cautioning me about a "friendship" that may be subtly developing, that I may be unknowingly encouraging, that needs to be brought to an end.  I'm still not quite sure yet, but I know God is speaking, and I know it's time to listen.
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