Hear – Heed – Hurry

Last Sunday morning, we went to church.

I sat in the pew beside a man who wanted me there … beside him  … It’s been years since I have had that experience. My arm wrapped under his strong bicep … my hand resting gently on his forearm … our Bibles side by side on our laps, open to the same passage. We listened intently.

I take it all in. Sometimes I think I live close to the world of sensory overload. It is no wonder I don’t remember people’s names … there is only so much room in one’s brain for information. And I soak, soak, soak it all in … processing physical and spiritual commonalities and overlaps.

I notice our breathing in that quiet, still room. It is rhythmic and consistent and relaxed. It is, at times, simultaneous … and then it is not.  *Breathe* ….. breathe in the life … out the waste … it happens unintentionally on our part, inhale … exhale.  We take in the good, we discard the waste … in the perfect world. The waste from our bodies (carbon dioxide) is the nutrient rich to plants. White the waste from plants exhale (oxygen) is the nutrient rich to ours. This is God’s design for life … a sloughing away of the unnecessary … and the giving of life …. in the same motion.

Not all sloughing is so natural …
involuntary …
easy.

Joy and Jet sit on the pew with us … listening.

And I still work to exfoliate the old … slough away the ancient images
of what my family once looked like but is no more.
I can’t cling to that which is no longer mine.
It is dead.
This sloughing still requires work …
and is not as easy as breathing.

And we listen as the pastor talks about the urgency
of sharing.
Today, if you will hear His voice ….”

As you might expect, I hear more than the pastor’s message.
He tells a story from his earlier years. The pastor was a lifeguard at a pool. A young man came to him and said he would like to talk about God. He assured the young man that he would like to get together sometime. Not so many weeks later, he was in a classroom and wondering why the young man’s name was not on the roll. He inquired to find
that the young man had committed suicide
and he heard his own word
“sometime”
echo inside his head like a cavernous canyon.

I try to live with the urgency in mind.
I invite people into my home … now,
I go and see and do … right away,
I love on people deep and wide…
because there may be no tomorrow.
I let things slide … that I possibly shouldn’t
because you never know what tomorrow holds.
I’ve said before, if I were to die today,
I would NOT want anyone to say how “sweet” I was …
I would want them to say that
I made a difference in their life.
I would want them to say that I gave unselfishly,
I loved openly
and I trusted with abandon.

And so, these days, I find myself with my ear to the sky
listening for the voice of my Lord
asking Him, “What next?”
I want to “HEAR” what He has for me – direction, purpose, mobility of action.
I want to “HEED” and DO what He wants me to
or for Him to stop me in my tracks.
I do not want to take steps
that are not blessed by Him.
And, oh, how I want to “HURRY”
… meaning simply
“not put off until tomorrow, what should be done today.”
What is for today, Lord? What would you want from me?

Lord, guide my steps, I pray.
Block motions that I orchestrate.
Illuminate paths that need to be traveled.
Speak to me in a voice
that I can hear
using language that I fully understand
in every.area.of.my.life.

Help me, Lord, to hear, heed and hurry.

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