Do you remember those commercials for Verizon with the dude walking around on his cell phone saying, “Can you hear me now? Good!” I do that a lot. On my Verizon phone. My phone only sometimes gets good reception. A lot of the times it straight up lies to me. It will tell me that I have 5 bars only to drop my call anyway, just because it feels like it. Sometimes the message comes in loud and clear… and other times it gets jumbled and I have to keep asking “What? What did you just say? Can you enunciate??” I feel like an idiot a lot when I talk on the phone because I keep needing to ask people to repeat themselves. It’s really beyond my control… obviously. It’s my stupid phone’s fault for getting the message jumbled up.
I don’t think I ever had that kind of problem with my home phone. When the phone is directly connected to the wall, it’s not an issue. But if I have to get some stupid signal to go all the way out into BUFU space, and then expect it to bounce alllll the way back down to the right person, there ain’t no way I’m going to be guaranteed a clear connection. At least that’s my personal experience with it.
In getting the convenience of a cell phone, we can potentially sacrifice the quality call received and transmitted. And while cell phones are seriously a blessing when it comes to emergency situations, or being in contact with anyone no matter where he or she is located, it can also be deadly. There are more opportunities for disaster with cell phones when it comes to things like calling/texting while driving, or walking across a street, or I don’t know, meandering in front of a train or something. People just get stupid when talking on their cell phones. And I’m one of them… I’ll be the first to admit it.
And so it got me thinking. I’ve been waiting for God’s call for you know, 22 years of my life. I always think I may have heard God say something… but actually, I wasn’t hearing right. Or sometimes I lose the connection. Sometimes I think I’m in a place with great reception, only to move just a fraction of an inch and lose my contact. I try to connect with God on my terms. I try to figure out a way where I can do what I want to do, when I want to do it, how I want to do it… and finagle God in there somewhere, wherever God can fit. In all of this finagling… I forgot how to listen. I forgot how to create an opportunity for me to simply be still and pay attention. Or sometimes I focus too much and forget to look at the grander picture unfolding.
I’m trying to connect with God on a shaky cell phone connection. I’m too busy, I’m too impatient, I’m too set in my own dreams sometimes, and this causes my signal to break up a little. And then I misinterpret the call, all the while God is on the other line saying, “Sara?? Are you there?? Hello??” I think I’ll be able to hear God better when I plant myself down to a landline phone… when I remove those other distractions and find a way to focus on just listening with the ear of my heart (as the Benedictines would say!). Maybe it means reading scripture once in awhile. Maybe it means just taking time to be still. Maybe it means quit it with telling God what to do, and just be there with the active listening skills.
I think that’s where many of my frustrations with difficult discernment of my calling come into play. The problem isn’t that God isn’t listening… it’s that I’ve got a crappy connection.
Do you ever feel like that? In what ways can you create a better connection with God?