Wednesday, June 11, 2014
By Micky Wolf
The digital display stared back at me again. “Check tel line.”
Three times in less than three weeks our telephone land line went dead. Seems no reasonable explanation, although our service provider acknowledged it was their equipment issue and not ours. That my beloved and I have cell phones is helpful, but small consolation given the inconvenience (and expense) of phones scattered about the house that don’t work.
When the repairman arrived the last time, we explained the situation once again and he went about his business, checking each and every wire. Didn’t take him long to knock on our door with the comment, “Well, mystery solved. I’m not sure what happened with the previous two incidents but this time it was pretty obvious—one of the connections at the main box had been bumped or moved out of position by someone working on another problem.”
Mechanical failure, human error, or both happen from time to time. Interruptions and disruptions are part of life. Hopefully, most of them do not result in serious injury to others or self and end up being more of an inconvenience than anything else.
You know where I’m going with this.
Divine connections—or not…
Unlike our phone service provider, God’s equipment never breaks down or malfunctions. If the ‘connection’ is broken, it will be that we have stepped away from the conversation—of listening or in speaking to the One who is always available.
Sometimes our connection with God is loose—meaning some days we hear, some days we don’t. Our prayer life is wobbly and inconsistent. We’re plugged in, but not all the way. Our time for personal reflection and listening for the still small voice is hit or miss, mostly missing. We multitask our day away as God patiently awaits our full attention. When that doesn’t happen, we wonder where He went.
Sometimes our connection with God is impacted by the actions of others—which is not to say we need to be quick to shift the blame and responsibility to their shoulders. In the case of our phone line, a worker may simply have been in such a hurry or so focused on the task at hand they failed to realize they had bumped us offline.
All the more important why you and I need to pay attention to how we behave as Christians, or simply as human beings sharing the journey with a multitude of other souls. Our individual choices and actions do affect those around us. Loving choice? Positive consequences. Unkindness or lack of consideration? Unpleasant fallout.
I’ve lived long enough to realize that many ‘human errors’ (my own included) have had a lot more to do with haste, personal expectations, and ignorance as much as anything. Determined to forge ahead, check one more thing off the to-do list, or get from one place to another, I don’t always take the time to attend more fully to what is happening in the moment.
None of my electronics with digital displays have yet to read “Check God line”, but it is interesting how we do receive alerts on occasion. And they manifest in a variety of unique ways.
…Realizing I am worrying and fussing over some concern (or person) is a classic wake-up call. A wrinkled brow and frown are a good indication I’ve lapsed into trying to run things rather than call on God for help and guidance.
…Sitting in my chair aimlessly staring out the window, too paralyzed to move, is another sign I’m paying more attention to the pitter-patter of negative thoughts racing to and fro instead of getting up, taking a walk and allowing the Spirit to stir Truth, flow in and whisk away the mental garbage.
…Tapping my fingers clickety-click on the tabletop while debating reading the riot act to someone for an injustice (real or imagined) that has occurred is clearly a signal I need to take several deep breaths—maybe several more—and then dial back the emotion long enough to open my heart and receive God’s healing love and mercy before taking action.
Ignatius of Loyola says it well, “God in all things”: our thoughts, our emotions, and in all things of the world around us. With the Divine Presence that omniscient and omnipresent, there’s no place we can go—physically, intellectually, emotionally, or spiritually to break His connection with us—which is not to say we won’t try, intentionally or in innocence, to test the strength and extent of that connection from time to time.
The next time you sense God is not responding to your calls, take a moment and check the connection. Prayer, some quiet time, or reading a Scripture or two might just be all it takes to restore clear communication.
How do I feel about my connection to God?
What happens when I sense the connection has been broken?
Am I attentive to the ways God alerts me to His loving presence?