Life Is A Race

Life is a race. Not a competitive race. Everyone's life is just a different race.

Our race may change course, there may be obstacles we must overcome, but if we keep our eyes on the Lord, we will reach our finish line and receive our prize. It is not always about the finish line, though. The journey is just as important. We need to make sure we don't miss something along the way while keeping our eyes on the prize.

Because I am a Christian and an athlete, this analogy is easy for me to see. Why do I race? Not to win (otherwise I would have given up long ago), but because it is a personal challenge. I'm a woman wearing so many hats -- wife, mother, Sunday School teacher, school volunteer, soccer mom -- juggling life's joys and frustrations. Talk about personal challenges! I hope to use this blog as an outlet for my frustrations and a proclamation of my joys as I tackle all the challenges I face in life.

One of my favorite Bible verses that helps me get through the hard times and relates to racing is also imprinted on my Road ID:

But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What is Your Noise?

As I walked outside this evening to go for a run, the first thing I noticed was how clear the sky was and how bright the moon was shining. The sky wasn't completely dark. It was a deep, dark blue straight up, lightening toward the horizon. There were quite a few stars out, but only a few were quite bright. The others seemed quite dim; dimmed by all the lights surrounding me. I had to strain to see them. Some nights they are brighter, but not tonight.

I did not wear my ipod tonight because it was dark when I began my run. So, I was alone with my thoughts and God for one hour. As I observed the stars and the moon and the sky, a memory came to me. We invited some friends to my in-law's ranch for the weekend last summer. Their ranch is located in Voca, TX, which I'm sure no one has heard of, but it is near Brady, TX, which some people have heard of. The point is that it is out in the middle of nowhere, in the hill country. After we had gotten the kids to bed, we were all so tired, but I told our friends they had to come outside to see the stars. There are no city lights to dim the stars, so you can see millions of stars. All of God's creation is right there in front of your eyes. You can even see the Milky Way! It is truly awesome! It is almost surreal. It was a clear night, and I remember my friend in awe over all the stars you could see. She then said she'd never seen a shooting star. So, we insisted they lie down on the flatbed trailer in the driveway and look for shooting stars with us. God delivered. She saw her first shooting star that night.

As I thought about this memory, I smiled. I smiled first because it was such a happy memory for me but also because I began to think about God's wonderful creation of the universe. Those stars are always there, but we cannot always see them because of our surrounding "noise". The city lights are the noise drowning out the beautiful night sky. Then, I thought about the noise surrounding me every day that can drown out God's voice.
What if God is trying to speak to me as he spoke to Elijah in a soft whisper? How will I hear him if I have too much noise surrounding me? "Noise" can come in so many forms. It can be literal "noise," such as the TV, the kids, the washing machine, etc... Sometimes, our "noise" is not literal noise, though.

What is my noise?

I thought about this for a while. I do have the literal noise, especially during the summer when I rarely have a quiet house. Why can't God speak more loudly in the summer? Then, there is just my brain noise. That's what gets me in trouble. It happens to all of us. I'll start praying, then when God is just about to speak, I'll start thinking of my to do list -- laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, house cleaning, errands, take kids to soccer, home improvement projects, finances, and on and on. My noise changes from day to day. It may be quiet in my house, but I sometimes still have noise keeping me from hearing God's voice. What is your noise? How do you turn it off?

I must learn to silence the noise in order to hear God. It is much more difficult at times, especially when there is literal noise. I find it a challenge in the summer when the kids are at home. We're sleeping in (there goes morning quiet time), and we're trying to keep ourselves occupied with any activity we can think of. The kids are always around, and it is rarely quiet except in the evenings when I'm tired. It is just noisy. Literally. When I do find quiet time, though, I need to turn off all the other noise and focus on God. God speaks to us, but we must be listening because He might speak to us in that soft whisper. I know I can turn off that noise and focus if I just ask God to help me do that, just as we were able to see so many stars on that clear night in Voca, TX. There was no noise. Only silence and God's creation in all its Glory.

I often find myself also asking God a question then answering it myself before I've listened for His answer. I just get impatient. I want answers, and I want them now. I'm type A and a planner. I don't like the unknown. I've had to learn to roll with the punches at times, though. I've gotten better about that, especially since having kids, but I still need help in that area.

Help me, O Lord, to silence the noise that keeps me from hearing your voice, to listen, and to be patient in waiting for the answer.

By the way, it was a great run!!




3 comments:

  1. I remember this story! Anyway, I've been getting up early and having quiet time and it has really been a blessing. God just has so much to say sometimes and I know I miss out when I don't make plans to listen. It's like that wall hanging I have -- God whispers and the world is loud.

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  2. I still haven't managed to get up early, but I've been having my quiet time in the evening once everyone is in bed. My allergies have been so bad that I feel terrible in the mornings lately, so I just do better in the evenings right now. It's working for me for now.

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