SHINE: Growing by the Spirit — Are you Listening to Me?

SHINE! … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

Are you Listening to Me?

© 2010 Tonya M. Evans

April 19, 2010

Have a constant conversation with Spirit!

Have you ever caught yourself unintentionally lost in your mind, lamenting about the past or obsessing about the future? Not the times when you actually choose to reflect on, reminisce about or learn from “yesterday” or you anticipate, plan or prepare for “tomorrow.” Of course, life sometimes requires us to pause and take notice of what has happened (or may happen) so we can learn from the past and act with wisdom to positively impact future outcomes. But, I am referring to those occasions when you experience a spiritual disconnect; your body is in one place but mentally, emotionally and spiritually you are a million miles away.

Picture this. Perhaps you are folding clothes and find yourself reliving the argument you had with your significant other or parent the night before. Or maybe you are driving and suddenly you are caught in a bad case of the “what ifs,” worried about whether the office gossip will spread lies about you again. Or perhaps you’re reviewing some paperwork or reading a book but you can’t remember what you read because while your eyes were scanning the text, your mind was detailing ad nauseum (and with serious attitude) all the things you are absolutely, positively going to say if that no-good so-so says such-and-such to you someday. (There! … you told them!)

But one of the best examples is when you are talking to someone on the phone and they check out completely of the conversation. Sure, they may provide just enough verbal cues to keep the conversation moving forward, but something’s missing. Their response-time is off just a hair, or their energy level or emotion just doesn’t match the topic. And finally you notice – that is, if you actually remain present enough to realize the other person’s gone MIA – and say, “are you listening to me!!??”  But you already know the answer. No, they aren’t listening because they aren’t “there” with you in the moment. Instead, they are engaged in a conversation in their own mind, perhaps re-doing what was already done or fighting a future war that may never even be waged.

I imagine this is the same thing that happens when God attempts to engage us in conversation. Maybe this is why God’s still small voice often goes unnoticed when we just “go through the spiritual motions” and why divine instruction falls on ears deafened by our inability to remain present when we allow our minds to wander and wonder aimlessly. And just like that, we’ve taken ourselves out of communication with the only One who never wanders nor wonders. Outside of the present moment, we are unable to hear God’s voice because we are not “there” with Him. It’s as if the Creator shines a light on our present situation while we remain lost in the darkness of the past or the future.

Spiritual growth and maturity is required to stay in the space that exists between breaths rather than to allow our minds to become distracted by what we cannot change – realities of the past – and what we cannot control – outcomes in the future. The past is already done and the future hasn’t happened yet so all we have is this moment, the moment, the only “space” where Spirit dwells and the light of God Shines. But thankfully the Creator is always “there” with us, the line of communication is always open and in God’s unwavering grace and mercy, we have an open invitation to return to divine love in the present moment.

Remember, our lives are a constant conversation with God. Therefore, in every moment we should be in communication with the One who has already erased our past, the One who intends the best for our future. So if you ever find yourself lost in the past or the future, if your response-time is off just a hair, or your energy level or emotion just doesn’t match the topic about which Spirit is communicating, return to the light of the present moment. That’s where God is and where communication, and indeed communion, takes place. And next time you sense that Spirit is asking, “are you listening to Me?” return to the present moment and reply YES!

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One Response

  1. Yes, I’ve had those moments. And they are usually within the context of some decision I need to make. At times like these I’m prompted to get to my (a) quiet place and just wait.

    I’m reminded:

    Psalm 46:10 (New International Version)

    10 “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

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