My former neighbor used to joke that she had her youngest daughter on tape asking questions for at least five minutes straight. She literally could not stop talking. They would repeatedly tell her to hush, and she just couldn’t.
I am related to someone with the same problem. No off button. No one-time expressing of an opinion. No letting go. Just talking on – and on and on and on ….
The on switch was flipped Saturday when I pulled into the parking lot of a local bakery. I got to hear the same opinion at least ten times in less than ten minutes – with the corresponding commentary also on repeat.
I can normally tune it out and enjoy life. But that day, it ruined the experience. I stood looking at the delicious desserts but could not disengage from the chatter to savor the moment. I left empty-handed with the diatribe still running strong.
And the whole time all I wanted to do was scream “HUSH!” to interrupt the unnecessary noise.
And as I sit here and remember, I start to laugh. Because how often is it that God is trying to get me to stop? How often is God nudging me to stop talking, stop rationalizing, and stop verbalizing? How often is God trying to persuade me to just be?
But we think we need words.
Lots of words.
Important sounding words.
Yes, God wants our words.
But more than anything, God wants us.
God wants our unshielded heart.
God wants our undivided attention.
God wants our unyielding devotion.
God wants us to stop trying to fix it ourselves.
God wants us to stop talking ourselves into doing things our ways.
God wants us to stop thinking we know everything.
God wants us to stop imagining every bad scenario and possibility.
The religious leaders didn’t get it. They loved to use words and talk incessantly. Because they had to prove just how smart they were. And Jesus warned us to not be like them – “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words” (Matthew 5:7).
God is looking for simple.
God is looking for sincere.
God is looking for honest.
God doesn’t advise to be in His presence and keep talking. He says “Be still, and know that I am God …” (Psalm 46:10a).
Be with Him.
So today can you hush long enough to enjoy God?
Marie Fremin, 3/6/17