1. Tomorrow we leave on vacation for a week. As I write this, the last of the laundry is drying, clothes are laid out on the bed (as are the cats), the air mattress has been patched and packed, the list of supplies is ready and waiting for me to go shopping, and directions and reservations have been made and confirmed and communicated. Oh, and 8 other people are joining us on this road trip to the East Coast to participate in the National Gathering of the Vineyard church.
There are times to rest and enjoy solitude, there are times to rejuvenate ties with ones spouse/family, and there are times to celebrate and refresh your spirit and soul with feasting and partying and communing within the context of a large group of people who are similar in their love for God but very different in their expression of it. You read a lot about these types of feasts in the Old Testament and personally, I think we could use more of them in our community of faith. We tend to be too preoccupied with getting things done in our Western society and the pattern God originally laid out for his people was to stop often in the day and the week and the calendar year to celebrate and remember his goodness and faithfulness - alone and together with others.
2. Two days ago a friend of mine asked me, "How often does God speak to you in a day?" I had never been asked this question before and somewhat at a loss, I was not quick with an answer. She continued, "Between 2 and 10 times, on average, would you say?" Arghh...I really had no idea. I finally came back with, "As often as I stop and listen, yeah between 2 and 10 sounds right." I don't feel it was an adequate response.
First of all, it seemed strange to be trying to quantify communication with someone, especially the creator of the universe, but I understood where she was coming from; she just wanted to know what this communion with God looked like in someone else's life. If you asked me how often I talked to one of my friends, I could answer that quite easily, because one can count phone calls, emails, and msn conversations. But if you ask me how often I talk to Dean in one day...well, how do you define that when you live together? Your lives are intricately intertwined and there is no definite stopping and starting to your communication and togetherness. Some days are more silent than others, but that does not mean your thoughts are not on them or you are not actively seeking to make their life better or encourage them in some way or just let them know you like them. I hope that my communion with God is much like that - we live together so he is always present and affecting my world, whether it is an 'out loud' moment or not, whether it is visible or invisible.
Secondly, I do believe that it is my responsibility to take the time to listen, to do my share of communicating, to sit down and initiate the conversation, and to be available. Some more pertinent questions might be...How often do I talk to God? How often do I listen for him? And how often do I wait for his response instead of moving ahead with my plans?
Pray without ceasing.