Don’t Read This Blog Today

boy-1226964_640The boy stood in front of me with his mouth wide open
then he exploded at his mother, “See, mom! See! I told you that wasn’t normal!”
Then, he turned to me and continued his rant, “How am I supposed to get anything right when no one in my family knows what’s normal?! Maybe I should do the opposite of everything they say is right.”
I felt his frustration. He was being raised by people who continually made choices that were immoral, illegal, or just plain stupid and even the generation overseeing these young parents blessed their poor decisions every time.
“I’m surrounded,” the boy said as he stormed out his front door.
 I joined him on the front step where we brainstormed people outside his family who might give him good advice when he needed it.
“A guy ought to be able to figure some stuff out on his own but my brain is all twisted from listening to them all my life.”
We all have that problem.
This generation, US, is assaulted continually with messages that are wrong.
Never has it been more clear that Satan is the prince of the air.
The air is thick with arrows burning with sulfuric deception.
And it stinks.
It is nearly impossible not to be influenced by the person who has your ear.
Read through I and II Samuel and I and II Kings. Watch how many leaders were led astray by bad advisers.
You think things were bad in those days, pay attention to how many voices you hear on any given day.
They’re everywhere.  It’s an all out siege war between voices of actual people, things we read, watch, hear, and tapes playing in our own minds.
Much of what gets in our way is deception but that’s relatively easy to detect.
The other voices that can cloud our reception from our Commander in Chief are the noises of the good messages that may not apply to us at any given moment.
It’s true that some of God’s children are called to minister in Africa or Haiti but I’m not right now.
Right now, I’m called to Rhode Island but it’s easy for me to get distracted or feel false guilt if I receive stories of other callings as if they are for me.
It’s true some of God’s people are called to become involved in influencing politics but others are called to use their energy on behalf of the poor or to raise up their own families of small children or to exercise their gifts in the arts.
 Good messages are truth but not every good message applies to my life at any given moment.
So, what’s the answer?
YOU and I need to incorporate the discipline of solitude and silence into our daily lives more than any generation that has ever come before.
It’s not just a discipline – it’s a vital weapon against Satan’s air attack.
Can’t you just hear his instructions to the legion that serve him. If a believer surrounds herself with truth, we can still work with that. Flood her with so many good messages she gets paralyzed and too confused to act on any of them.
The Bible is a field manual for this battle and the giants of our faith either made time to get alone and quiet or God gave them that time (don’t know how quiet it was in the belly of the whale but Jonah was certainly alone without distractions.)
I write what I hear from God on any given day but even this blog can be a distraction to you.
If I write about solitude today but you’ve been isolated for awhile and actually need to call together a gang for some laughter and a chat, this post might trip you up.
Don’t let it.

This is the beauty of our faith. God’s word is here for all of us and reading it, knowing it, is crucial.

But if we follow Jesus Christ, God’s Holy Spirit has come to live within us to guide each of us personally
because God’s daily instructions for me working with families in Rhode Island are not identical to His instructions for my friend, Joe, working in Haiti or my friend, Lynn, raising young children down south.
But we have to pull away and listen.
You don’t need to schedule a week long retreat (although, that would be nice). Just take some extra minutes in the shower without music or the news playing in the background.
Or enjoy your coffee without a book or a podcast. Take five or ten minutes to take in nothing but nature or silence.
Even my young friend knew this was key for him. I asked him if there was some little voice in his head that often told him his families’ decisions were wrong.
He nodded. “Sure, but when I tell them that, it doesn’t change anything.”
“Well,” I said, “we may not be able to change anything for them but the fact that you hear that voice saying something is wrong means there’s still hope for you. You need to get by yourself when things are crazy and listen to that voice and then check it with the people we’ve identified who seem to make good decisions. Sound like a plan?”
“Better than what I’ve been doing,” he shrugged. “Cuz lately, I’ve just been giving up and going along with them.”
And that’s the danger for us, too.
Now, let’s observe a moment of silence. (or not. Ask God what He thinks.)

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    The Conversation

  1. tina hunt says:

    Planning on nurturing some silence for my noisy heart today.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s not hard to know why our younger generation of people have such a hard time thinking for themselves. The electronic media is blasting constantly–too much going into their ears and too little silence for them to use to think, reason, pray.
    They are the “poor generation”, not those of us who had no TV, one car in the family, no X-box, computer, IPod, etc. We had time to think, sort things out for ourselves, plan ahead. Maybe not providing so many material things for this young generation is the best thing we could do for them. That “still, small voice” might actually get to speak to them and they’d get to hear it. Keep advising those young people you work with. God has gifted you with wisdom–and you didn’t get it from a cell phone, IPod, or TV. Love your blogs. MOMMA

  3. Ahhh, Lori. Such an awesome message, and I almost followed your advice in the title and didn’t read it. *sigh* I needed this. I am at a place where there are lots of voices speaking to me. The problem is most of them are IN MY HEAD.

    The desire to run away and spend time with God and myself for a few days has been running around in my mind since BRMCWC. If only…

    Blessings on you and your family.

  4. Jennie says:

    You hit it on the head with ‘paralyzed and too confused to act on any of them’. I’ve noticed that lately about myself; and I keep asking God to help me concentrate on on thing at a time, because even good things overwhelm me when there is too much. I need to get alone with Him. Thanks Lori.

  5. M says:

    love this post-so true
    even the title, Don’t Read the Blog Post, made me want to read it even more!
    We feel as if we’re missing out, or missing something when we look around and listen to everyone else.
    Great reminder to keep focused on the Truth and listening to His Calling for me at this moment.

  6. Thank you for telling it like it is yet again. I was pondering these very choices and will be making efforts on them as soon as I get back home.

  7. Cyn Rogalski says:

    Such great words…and such a great order you put them in!
    Thanks Lori…needed this today.
    Still praying for you & Rob.
    Praying you both see God in a special way today!

  8. Judith Robl says:

    The deprived child is one who has no time to lie in the grass and look at the clouds or stars. I remember those days with great pleasure and a sense of security. We have robbed our children — and ourselves.

    Psalm 19:1
    The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (KJV)

  9. Carmen says:

    I so enjoy your posts. You’re right, we are bombarded with so many cunning voices daily. I always need quiet time just to recuperate from life. I’m a 55 yr. old with an almost empty nest, so the demands of life are not as great as when I had four boys at home, but I’ve never felt more confused about life in general. It’s just too much and I need to spend my quiet time wisely! Thanks for this very insightful post!

  10. i just want to said:
    Great post, Lori