You may pray for an hour and still not pray.
You may meet God for a moment and then
be in touch with Him all day.
I must admit that I can be a stubborn, hardheaded and very headstrong person, most of the time…well, most all the time. Pick an adjective that applies to a Type A personality and I have probably been guilty of it at one time or another. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. If you need something accomplished, give it to a Type A personality. They will plan, plot, implement, navigate around, or mow down any opposition in the path of their accepted goal. They are your general’s, your CEO’s, and your captains of industry, but, it does have its drawback.
I am often too busy plowing ahead on my well thought out, predetermined path to hear God trying to tell me when the bridge has been washed out ahead of me. I am so focused on MY goals that I pay absolutely no attention to the gusty breeze pushing me in the direction of that bright shiny “detour sign” ahead. I am too busy checking MY time and staying on MY schedule that the well aimed bricks flying down from the heavens and hitting me square on the head are taken as signs of a bad day, but never, ever do I relate them to the road I’m on.
Ten miles and a bottle of Excedrin Migraine later, I am quite proud of my plan, my timing and my abilities to do what I think needs to be done even in the face of so many obstacles. From past experience, though, this is usually the point in my journey that God decides to discard with the subtle hints and flying masonry, and do about the only thing that actually does get my attention…He drops the entire brick wall on my head. I suppose that I should be happy that He was merciful and didn’t let me plummet into the raging, icy waters that were ahead of me. Though admittedly, at the time, gratitude is rarely at the top of my list of feelings.
So often we are caught up in our daily lives, our individual desires, our own thoughts that we fail to see the obvious and unmistakable signs that God is present in our environments, active in our lives and guiding us in a specific direction – or away from one? He doesn’t call down to us in the echoed booming voice of James Earl Jones. He whispers, He nudges, He pushes, and if we are still to oblivious to listen, He hits us over the head to get our attention.
How many brick walls have been dropped into your life? Did you really have to find your husband in bed with another woman to realize that your marriage was in trouble, or that you were married to a jerk? Did it actually take being laid off work to finally understand that the job you’ve been in for the last thirty years was not your true calling? Did your son have to get expelled from school before you decided to reevaluate your parenting choices?
Whether we like it or not, we are here to learn lessons and to get better at the only thing in this world that we are actually semi-good at…being human. True, we have Free Will, but that Free Will comes with a clause in tiny letters at the bottom of the contract. We can choose to listen to God’s soft voice and accept the guidance that He mercifully provides, or we can continue to dig ourselves out from under a pile of very heavy bricks for the remainder of our days.
Many years and multiple concussions later, I have learned that sometimes flying bricks are the most generous and loving act God can provide. They are His way of saying He has a better plan than any I could conceive on my own.
As for me, I plan to avoid the rubble piles in the future. I plan to pay attention the FIRST time the large brick ricochets off my cranium. Better still, I pray for the sensitivity and consciousness to understand that the first strong wind ushering me to the safety of the far better, if unexpected detour, is actually the place I need to be looking. Most of all, I pray for the strength to realize that the BEST choices that I make in my life aren’t really mine at all, but come only when I take the time to stop and listen to a voice greater than my own.
What direction is God leading you towards…and will you take the time to listen?