I spent my May long-weekend camping with friends (hence the lack of posts since Thursday last week). It had been a few years since I had camped and far too long since I took time away from normal life that wasn't to go to something - a wedding, a conference, etc. It really was a relaxing and fun weekend.
Being away made me realize that there is something important about getting away from "normal life" every once in a while that is necessary. While I was there, I didn't worry about cleaning my house (just doing the dishes after eating), or about what I was going to wear (just wanted to be comfortable) or even what I was going to do next (I figured that out as one game or conversation came to an end). And I needed that.
I needed that time out with friends to be refreshed. It didn't take some big event for that to happen. Just some time to enjoy the company of other people and not worry about everything else in life.
The first night we were there, I woke up in the middle of the night. I couldn't go back to sleep right away, so I grabbed my jacket and headed to the beach. I sat on the beach for half an hour and just listened to everything around me. And I talked to God. No one else was up. As I sat in the silence, I was able to hear God's voice.
Sunday afternoon brought some time in a canoe. Peaceful. Quiet. Once again I was able to hear God's voice.
Monday morning was one last chance to sit at the beach and listen. And again I heard God speak.
As I've reflected on how easy it seemed to hear God's voice when I was there, I've also wondered why it seems so hard sometimes in everyday life. Often I struggle to hear God's voice.
Earlier today it struck me. The reason why I struggle to hear God's voice most of the time is because I don't slow down enough and get quiet enough to actually listen. I rush through life, and in the midst of the noise of it all, I often miss God's still small voice speaking. I heard God speak when I was camping because I stopped and made the space.
But I also know I don't have to get away to hear God speak. I can learn how to hear Him speak in the midst of my everyday life. But I have to learn how to create space to listen in it. If I don't create that space, I'll keep missing His voice. But if I learn to create that space to hear Him speak, I won't always be waiting until I can get away to hear God speak.
How are you doing at creating space in your life to hear God speak?
When was the last time you heard God speak to you?
How can you make time to hear God speak in your everyday life?