Over the past few weeks I have been putting in quite a few miles for work, 6 different states, 4 different sites, over 3000 miles in about 20 days. Over this time I have had many hours to reflect on the things around me. The one thing that I do when I am going to have to travel is to make sure that I spend the morning with the munchkin. I take the few hours before I get on the road to keep her home from school for a bit and just have time with her. If she wants to lay around in bed, we do that, if she wants to go get pancakes, we do that. This is her time to have daddy to herself.
By having this time and then the time on the road I go to thinking about all the distractions we have in life. I know I have wrote about turning the phone off, playing, listening, and all that before, but this time is a little different. I got to really thinking about some of the things that we tell our kids; Do it this way, Color inside the lines, write with the other hand….. We try so hard ourselves to conform to society and we push our kids to conform as well. But why not, to a safe extent, let them do what comes naturally to them. By just observing my daughter I have seen her emmense ability to comprehend and grasp many different concepts. The way she figures things out is amazing, the things that she understands at 4 blows my mind. Then I started thinking about how she is able to do this, she will watch everything that we do and then act that way. Even though I don’t think she is paying attention sometimes, or she isn’t listening, the actions that come later prove me wrong. Also in all of the driving, I was listening to some old @Common tracks. One track jumped out at me, Pop’s Rap II, from One Day It Will All Make Sense. In the middle of the track, Pops is talking about how when Common was a kid he taught him more than he taught Common, with a few simple words. It is when we shut up and listen to our kids, that we can learn the most from them.
We have all heard the saying, Out of the mouth of babes, and it is true, the most honest answer that you will ever get is from a child.
When, I was thinking about all of this, I was trying to figure out what God was trying to tell me or if it was just on my mind. Then Sunday at Church, our Pastor was continuing our current series called Strong. It is about having a stronger relationship with God, and doing the things that He has told us to do to build that relationship. This week was about fasting and solitude. And this really started to hit home, I have fasted before…. Usually when I want God to do something or show me something. But never to do it just to get closer to Him. Fasting is all about getting closer to God, it was laid out as something we should be doing as Christians. It helps us to focus in on JUST God. It is that time that we put everything else out of our way, and listen to Him. Just like when we think our kids aren’t listening to us, Are we listening to God? The example our pastor gave was of when you are listening to the radio, while driving down the road. You get some stations perfectly clear, no static just pure sound; then as you go on down the road there is a little more static, and more and more and more, until finally you can’t hear that station anymore for all the static and other noise you are picking up. In our daily lives, it may not be that we are getting farther from God, but that we have too many things fighting for our attention. Too many things are putting static into our minds, that we think that we can hear God, but we aren’t sure. It is our uncertainty that causes us to not act on things that He has in store for us, we get nervous, and continue with our mundane lives.
God listens to us whenever we come to Him with our whole heart, He knows what we are coming for before we ever talk to him about it. He listens to us as if we were the only ones around, we have a direct communication line with him. He doesn’t get distracted and bogged down like we do. I know many of us, specifically us dad’s – lets face it we all have ADD; Will respond to our children, out of routine, with an “Uh huh”, or something of the like, when we don’t know what they really said, (We get in big trouble when we take this approach with the wife, who knows the things we really agree too.)
So I challenge you, to take an extra 20 minutes in the morning, to Shut Up and listen to God. Then take an extra hour with no TV, no phone, no electronic interference, to talk with your kids, talk with your wife/husband/significant other, and just see how things in your life change. Hey if nothing changes, I just saved you some electric and phone minutes, but I hope things get better.