A friend of mine brought up an insightful thought the other day about the modern day greeting in America. In years past when somebody asked how you were doing, the most common response was, “I’m good.” More grammatically correct folks would say, “I’m well.”
Today, the most common reply is, “I’m busy.”
The latter statement couldn’t be truer of my wife and me right now, especially with a newborn and a two-year-old demanding our attention. With fuller days and less sleep, I’m trying to make the most of the middle of the night stillness, sitting awake rocking our newborn daughter.
This may sound strange, but there’s a part of me enjoying the stillness of 2:30am. God’s there.
Last night I apologized for not noticing him with me as much during the busy parts of my day. I asked him to show me ways of being more productive, and less busy.
He then brought to mind a conversation I had earlier that day with my good friend, Eric—who described to me the most challenging question he was ever asked.
“Would you recognize if God stopped speaking to you?”
I was suddenly thankful to God for keeping me awake with my daughter and for spending time with us in the stillness. I was grateful to be sensing him speak to me.
That’s when a passage came to mind I want to leave you with, especially if your immediate response to a greeting includes the word “busy.”
In the passage, Elijah was alone in a cave in the middle of the night when God shows up and asks him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God…”
Look at how God responds: “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
God challenged me last night to consider how well I hear him in my busyness—no matter if I have a newborn and a toddler, business meetings, deadlines, Facebook, Pinterest, television, conferences, school plays, homework, lunches to makes, children to feed, groceries to get, people to follow up with, an oil change, and the list goes on.
He kept me awake in the middle of the night to ask, “In the noisiness of life, will you still hear me?”
Elijah did. But not as we expect…
“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks…but the Lord was not in the wind…
After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake…
After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire…
After the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”[i]
Life is noisy. Do you recognize his whisper?
Joshua Straub, Ph.D. is an advocate for families and parenting in the 21st century. He loves coming alongside families to provide encouragement, support and practical counsel. Josh loves combining scientific research with biblical wisdom to provide the best-of-all-worlds perspective on raising stellar kids, having an awesome marriage and enjoying life while doing it. You can read more of the boring professional stuff about Josh and his books here, if you’re interested. Together with his favorite writing partner and wife, Christi, Josh has fun parenting their son Landon and daughter Kennedy. For more encouragement and ideas on marriage and parenting in the 21st century you can join Josh and a growing tribe of awesome families at www.joshuastraub.com and follow him on Twitter @joshuastraub or Facebook.
[i] 1 Kings 19:9-13, NIV