My husband had an aunt whom I loved to visit when she was alive. She was a warm, godly woman who shared her wisdom with me. It was her understanding of raising her two sons that I especially valued as I had son who was growing up fast. Once she told me that over the years she had learnt the art of ‘hanging around’ her sons. I was fascinated by this comment as I knew her to be very wise but I also knew that sons, especially adolescent ones, certainly didn’t want their mothers to hang around them. Over the years, I did learn something of her art. I learned to leave my son well alone when he was with friends or busy but that when he was alone with not much to do and sitting on the step with a cool drink staring into space, I would per chance be doing much the same thing. It was an art that produced rich rewards; I heard things that my son would not normally have thought to tell me.
At some point in my life, the words, ‘It’s important to hang around God’ came to me. This is also an art but of a different kind. God is always available to us. He doesn’t have ‘on’ and ‘off’ days or times when He wants to be alone or with His friends. The art rather is to learn how to be still and quiet ourselves so that we can hear Him. This doesn’t come naturally as the world clamours for our attention. We feel we should be doing something or fulfilling our Christian duty in some way or another. We seldom stop. My experience is that God doesn’t speak to me in the two spare minutes that I have between the breakfast table and the car. However, when I take time to sit quietly, do nothing in particular except perhaps sit on the step with a cup of coffee, that’s when I hear His voice. He may give me an idea, a thought or even a rebuke about something He wants me to put right. Whatever it is, as with my son, I’m always grateful to have heard Him. The rich experience I have when I am quiet before God encourages me to do it more and more.
Prayer: Father, I want to hear Your voice and what it is You want to say to me. When I do hear You, I’m always better equipped to deal with the things of life that come my way. Please help me to be still. Amen.
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