I have an input hangover.
Yesterday I searched and googled every possible option regarding a future decision and found advice and opinions out the wahzoo! By the end of the day I was overwhelmed and in need of an epiphany. Or a lobotomy. Or both.
This morning something occurred to me: why would I assume that God would speak to me through the voices of those around me rather than His own voice? Why do I allow social media, or culture, or “professionals” to take priority in determining His will, especially if I haven’t even asked Him?
If I don’t pray first, this wave of stress and inertia I’m riding is most likely contrary to what God is calling me to.
So today I’m not opening my IPad. Instead, I’m listening for His Voice. The most comforting passage I know is John 10 where the Shepherd leads the sheep off trail and into pasture, and I decide to just stop the madness and graze for a minute.
Here, Jesus promises rest. Not a nap, necessarily, (although that couldn’t hurt).
“When He puts forth all His own, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him because THEY KNOW HIS VOICE. And a STRANGER they simply will NOT follow, but will flee from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:4-5
For me, following the Shepherd’s voice is an invitation to rest. He enables me to drop the plates He never asked me to spin, to take the world off my shoulders He never asked me to carry, and to ignore the fictitious people with their imaginary report cards ready to judge me for all the things I’m not doing well. When I tell all the voices in my head to be quiet, I realize they are insignificant nobodies who don’t even matter.
All that matters is what He says.
In this quiet space with Him I am reminded that prayer is a dialogue, not a duty. It is intimate conversation, not hurried confessions and pleas for help on the fly. It’s not another thing on my to-do list, it is my to-do list.
As I sit in His presence, the veneer peels off to reveal most of my stress is borrowed worry from something that has not even happened yet, and probably won’t.
“Anxiety is that which divides and distracts the soul, that which diverts us from present duty to weary calculations of how to meet conditions that may never arrive. It’s the habit of crossing bridges before we reach them.” Linda Dillow, Calm My Anxious Heart
God’s voice frees me from the power of the voices of “strangers”. Unlike the conjecture of mere mortals, His wisdom is based on the fact that He actually knows everything. He is my guide, my provider, my understanding. I don’t need to search elsewhere. When He is in His rightful place in my soul, I find that elusive balance I have been chasing like the wind… just living the thing.