June 15, 2018
by Eileen Wirth
Creighton University's Deparment of Journalism, Media and Computing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 363

1 Kings 19:9A, 11-16
Psalms 27:7-8A, 8B-9ABC, 13-14
Matthew 5:27-32

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Beginning Again: Talking with God

After the wind there was an earthquake – but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire – but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.” 1 Kings

As people leave any type of gathering, the first thing that most do is dive into their pockets or purses for their digital masters. Even when our phones aren’t dinging, they demand our attention and cut us off from other communication.

Just watch two people walking down the street together, both glued to their phones and ignoring each other.

Our devices remind me of the biblical wind, fire and earthquake that block access to the “tiny whispering sound” – the voice of God.

As a society, we tend to freak out about solitude and silence. If we come into an empty house, we turn on the TV for background noise. Gyms feature blaring music to distract us as we pound the treadmill.

But this reading teaches us that we can’t hear the voice of God except in silence.

A recent retreat at a lake reminded me of how important silent reflection is. Like other members of my CLC group, I had uninterrupted time to reflect on issues in my life. I tried to hear the voice of the Spirit instead of cramming yet another activity into every spare five minutes. I emerged with a sense of peace that no text message can offer.

Since opportunities for silent reflection are rare for most people, I tried an experiment in my car this morning. I turned off the car radio and asked the Spirit to reveal how I could do God’s will today. I spent my trip across town trying to hear the whispered response to that request.

It wasn’t as rewarding as drinking in the beauty of Lake Manawa but at least I wasn’t tensing up in traffic or clutching about the latest scary report on NPR.

It reminded me of having some of my best conversations with my children in the car because we were forced to listen to each other. (Of course, this was before cell phones.) As children of God, we must find ways to carve out time in our busy days to listen to God.

So here’s my suggestion for today or tomorrow: Turn off all noisemakers in our houses. Do not check our cell phones for an hour or so and invite the Spirit to speak to us. Try to really listen. We might be amazed at what we learn. Give the Spirt a chance to cut through the clutter of our lifes.

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