When Paul was flattened by a light and a voice on the road to Damascus, he listened. And in that moment, the world changed.
Do we have a moment to stop, look and listen?
This is the question I hear people around me chastising themselves with regularly. I really “should” find time to …. exercise, eat right, play with the kids, finish that manuscript (ahem), call my parents, volunteer, visit relatives, pray … And then there is Nike, so very helpfully, telling us “Just Do It.” But we don’t and we don’t like this about ourselves, which spins us down into the ‘don’t like’ cycle.
This is why I love the Kinesthetic approach. (I think Paul was a Kinesthetic Jew.) He was, in fact, on the way to just doing it when that voice got his attention. He wasn’t knelt in prayer or fasting or attending a service, he was on the move.
And that’s how I see us even now. Moving, albeit at warp speed. Frankly, if I stop, I get dizzy watching everyone else whiz by. Then I’m tempted to run and catch up. But that’s where I go wrong. Acceleration sets me spinning. What I need is to keep the same speed. To coast, as it were. To do and be about my doing at God’s pace, but keeping an eye and an ear out for God-speak. For that light and that voice.
Stopping gets me all unraveled. Then I have to build up momentum again. Moving, especially moving along a familiar road – driving my kid to school, running the neighborhood, sketching in my journal, walking the dog, shooting hoops, hitting putts or range balls, even eating lunch all by myself at the table – all these things engage the rest of me so my eyes and ears and those wonderful inner circuits can have a conversation.
I never know what I’ll discover there, but it’s always enlightening. It changes me.
Coincidentally, I am just completing my listening to an online course on marketing. I have never been trained in these principles. It’s no wonder that Fit2Finish (my small business) has remained small and unknown, given my ignorance. The final lecture discusses ways to appeal to your market. One way is the personal appeal called the testimonial. It is used in cases when “consumption is uncertain,” it says, when you can’t know whether the product works until you try it. The “Try this because look what it’s done for me!” appeal.
Funny, I guess I have been a marketing major all along. Thanks for joining me along the way.
Are you one of those people who sits and listens in prayer? Do you hear God speaking? Does He give you a final answer?
I don’t know fully what God is saying to me until I go with it. Well, let me correct that, I don’t know it fully but moving seems to facilitate the process for me. In fact, if I am stuck, I find that just getting up and doing something – just whatever occurs to me that needs doing – seems to set me in the right direction. Hate to say it, but this makes me think of those constipation medicines, that keep you “regular.” Whatever that is.
For me this conversation continues into the Christian life lived out, or the pursuit of it, anyway. If we become aware of a need, of something that needs doing, as we are able we are meant to act on it. Now I have found this to be a double-edged sword because I can be too quick to act (speak, go, do, fix, resolve) or, usually rebounding from this, I can be too slow to act (speak, go, do, try to resolve). Both work out badly. Both, I believe, have me running off course.
But the worst, for me, is stalled. I can justify this, mind you. I am waiting until I find out exactly what I am supposed be doing. Then, you betcha, I’ll be all over it. But first, I will study it, research it, learn about it. Then, when I can insure my own success I will embark. Problem is, by then the moment provided for me to move ahead is gone. I am just surmising this, mind you, because you can’t see what you’ve missed.
So today I play with the notion of continuous motion of a slow and steady sort. Listening, learning and leaning forward all in the same motion. I fear I fall into the temporal ‘everything one at a time always in a straight line’ thinking much too often. The step 1, step 2, step 3 approach. Hey, if my body can sense motion, process the sensation and plan the next motion all at the same time – without my even thinking about it – why can’t my Christian faith lived out look the same? maybe even take the same shape?
Jesus told us that if we truly loved him, we’d do what He asked. Obedience was true love. What if obedience isn’t just blind following? What if obedience is just moving forward, prompted by the notion of what needs doing? we don’t need to know the goal, just the next step, perhaps the first step. Not blindly but with full attention to where we are stepping, how it feels, and what happens then. A give and take sort of obedience. a trying it on. a putting it into practice.
Paul tells the Philippians,
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” ~ Phil 4:8-9
My worst enemy may be the temptation to stop with verse 8…think about such things. I wonder what would happen if I always went on to the next verse. And trusted that, when I put it into practice the God of Peace will be with me.
Can I really go wrong?