After several attempts at filling my table with actual bodies, for dinner, I ask... "Can anyone hear me?"
"Yes I heard you". My son replies from the couch.
Yet there is no movement coming from his general direction. He is engrossed in a book. Dinner is a bother at the present.
As the soup gets colder I try to stay patient, as I am processing my next move...
Do I try once again to make people appear by getting louder or should I randomly start doling out consequences for lack of obedience?
It's not the worst thing in the world. I mean maybe I should pick other hills to die on. And I can reheat the soup. But the whole idea that I'm talking to trees makes me a little jittery. At least trees have some movement. It makes me a little crazy as I feel him blatantly ignore me.
And then again God draws me in to dialogue.
"Do I act like that with you Father"?
"Am I so into my stuff that I think you can wait just a moment?"
"Am I a "hearer" of your voice...But not a "doer"?
And I wonder...
I wonder if God gets weary of calling me to the table?
Does he look at me with parental eyes saying "It's not enough to just hear me...You must do as I say".
I'm thinking of the large masses of people who went to hear Jesus speak.
They essentially went to church...although it looked less like a comfortable auditorium and more like the side of a hill, or a crowded room in the home of a friend. They listened intently to Jesus teach. The most inspirational, dynamic leader you will ever find. He spoke with authority and love. He filled their ears with challenges and new thoughts. He healed them and restored minds that were tormented by the evil one. He was the perfect communicator.
Oh yes, they saw and heard the indescribable life of Jesus.
But the words and challenges alone could not save them.
They had to participate in what they had heard in order to make real what Jesus was teaching.
Many were following him wondering what he would do next. They were intrigued and loved the excitement that he brought. Wondering what he could do for them. They came weekly for more. Filling their ears with his words. They were certainly seekers.
Were they more like couch sitters? Or today we may call them
Did they hear the words of Jesus and then deliberately put them into practice? Or did they just come back week after week waiting for another fix.
Am I a hearer and doer of the word? James 1 tells me that I must not only hear but act.
We need both. We must hear God's voice in order to know how and where to follow.
I can't expect that hearing alone will be enough.
Until our theology and reality meet we will be just like the people of Jesus day.
If I hear it and don't act am I not more accountable? After all...I would tell my son, "If you've heard me you are without excuse."
Awwhh Thank you Father.
I love that he shows me himself through life experiences.
His heart is not to just call us to the table. It is also to see us joyfully join him and participate in relationship around it. Sometimes the table is set with bounty and we feast lavishly. Sometimes it requires us to walk where we thought we could not go. And Sometimes we must follow instructions blindly, not knowing what the end result will look like.
I am grateful that he calls. I must move off the couch and to the table with no delay. It's here at the table that I find fellowship. Here where my deepest needs are met. It is here that I can hear more clearly and obey his voice.
What is he asking you to hear and do today?