Two-Way Street: Learning to Make Room For God in the Midst of the Madness
My Grandpa passed away recently. I have so many great memories of him going to the circus and Cleveland Indian baseball games. Every time he would come visit, he would walk in the door with a big smile on his face and armed with a new, beautiful dress for me. These memories make me smile and help the hurt in my heart that I feel when I think about how he will never walk through our front door with a smile and a new dress again.
But what makes my heart hurt the most is that I can’t remember the last time I talked to my Grandpa. You see all those great memories I have of him are from when I was a little girl. When I was 11, my family moved to Florida, a whopping 3,000 miles from where my Grandpa lived in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. After moving, I didn’t see him anymore. We would sometimes talk on the phone—you know the typical Thanksgiving and Christmas phone calls. But as I got older and my life started to get busier with school and sports, the phone calls slowly started to cease to exist and now at the age of 22, I can’t even remember the last time I talked to him on the phone.
How often does our relationship with God get like that? We go through a season where we are in constant communication and connection with God. We are diving into His word and listening to His voice but then life picks up speed. We begin to feel tired in the morning and say “I’ll read my Bible later” but later after work or school we’re too exhausted and just want to climb in bed or relax our minds by watching some mindless show on Netflix. The conversations with God start to wane and before we know it, we can’t remember the last time we were in His word or talked to Him about what we were struggling with. What do we do then?
I shared above how phone calls with my Grandpa just stopped one day. Some of you may have thought, “Katie, it’s not completely your fault. Relationships are a two-way street. He could have called you just as much as you could have called him.” And I would tell you, you are right. Relationships are a two-way street. It takes two to tango as they say. But you know what, God has already made the first move. He reaches out to you and me everyday. It’s our turn to pick up the phone and call Him, because as you pointed out: relationships are a two-way street. God is always right there waiting to pick up the phone or open the door as it says in Luke 11:9 (NIV), “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
So how in the madness of life do we make room for God? That’s a great question and I want you to know that I am searching for the answer and learning every day right alongside of you. But the first step I had to take to making room for God in my life was understanding and recognizing that I can be in His presence in so many different ways. I will be the first one to admit that I sometimes have those mornings when I hit snooze one too many times and then I am rushing to get ready that I am putting on my shoes as I am locking the front door and before I realize it, I didn’t even pick up my Bible yet that morning. I’m learning that that is ok. I can be intentional to enter God’s presence in a different way on the drive to work. How do I do that? I have my own personal praise jam session in the car. Turn on your favorite worship music, crank the volume, and just praise God.
But what if singing isn’t the best way that I connect with God, Katie? Great question. You can still plug your phone into the car stereo and listen to God’s word. There are so many great resources and apps out there that can read to you scripture so that you are still letting God’s Word saturate your morning. Another option is to silence the phone, turn off the radio, and just focus on talking to God on the drive in to work as if He is sitting in the passenger seat. Tell Him what projects are on your to-do list. Ask Him for guidance and patience to prepare you for those EGR’s (extra grace required) people in your class or your office.
Life moves at a fast pace and sometimes the quote from Alice in Wonderland “We’re all a little mad here” seems all too relevant as you switch from work mode, to taking care of your kids, to making dinner to trying to get a workout in, but in the madness it is so important to create time and space—whatever it may look like—for God. Even within the madness of life, “God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace” (Psalm 29:11, MSG).
Today, within the madness how will you make room for God?