I blame fear and anxiety, my usual scapegoats, for the bitter fountain of words that raced across my mind. Sitting in the the cold, sterile examination room of the ER, the waiting unsettled me. Disappointed again by the doctor's inability to pinpoint the cause of my pain that afternoon, I turned to God in frustration.
I'm not sure what combination of words flowed that afternoon. I couldn't tell you what was said or how long this went on. I can tell you what I didn't do. I never paused long enough to listen. I never stopped to consider who it was I was addressing.
Margaret Feinberg calls this "nonversation" in her new book Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God, and I am guilty of it.
In the privilege I have of speaking with God as my most intimate friend, I forget that He is the most High God. Where He graciously cares for the minutiae of life, I mistakenly assume He needs me to regurgitate partially processed, emotional, thoughtless prayers. As if such an offensive offering would move Him.
She presents a question: How often have I rattled on with God and said nothing at all? It reminded me of another question, out of the Catechism, "when we pray do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or out of the depths of a humble and contrite heart"?
The point being, are we having one sided conversations with God? Are we so busy thinking up fancy phrases, complicated formulas, or so self absorbed that we are just plain nonsensical in what ends up being a string of soap box moments, rather than an intimate exchange?
Sometimes God lets me wander into darkness so that he can get my attention. When there are no answers, when I feel lost and helpless, that is when I finally slow down, reach out and stop to listen.
When I stop prattling on about being afraid, how it's unfair, why I don't deserve any of this, exhausted and spent, I become a child again sitting in the lap of her heavenly father. In the sure comfort of his embrace, I am ready and willing to hear his will for my life and see the lessons he has for me.
As I breathe in His presence, and drink in His Word, I am awakened to the fact that I have a Father that knows my name. He shows me how in every moment, at every turn, He is there. Then he reveals how all the little pieces of my life, especially the ones that didn't make sense, were all working for my good.
I stand amazed at His mercy, faithfulness, and love orchestrating every movement in the fugue of my life. Overwhelmed, I relent.
Less of me, more of you God.
So often, this simple statement of humility, this desperate hungry petition becomes the damn to the plethora of words that want to burst out.
Less of me, more of you God.
That's when I experience His presence so tangibly, so beautifully that I would be happy not to say another word, if I could dwell in that place all the days of my life.
It was such a privilege to get to read a preview of this new book releasing in December and I cannot wait to add this book to my collection. As always, Margaret takes us on a journey of self-analysis rich with masterfully painted pictures for her reader's minds. Pre-order yours today!