The word of the LORD came to Jonah son of Amittai: “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.”-Jonah 1:1-2
Jonah wasn’t just hearing from a boss or a neighbor or yet another politician spouting promises . . . the word of the LORD—the L-O-R-D—came to him. Now, if I could hear from the LORD, yeah, then I’d follow Him, I’d seek Him, I’d stick to the hard things people older than me always seem to be saying are really important.
But I don’t hear from the LORD.
I hear from the hundreds of songs downloaded on my phone and the thousands of others I can find on Spotify. I hear from my friends, anytime really. One call away. I hear from my family. I hear from my young children in the dead of the night. Much more often than I’d prefer, in fact. But no, I don’t hear from the LORD.
I remember having this old Jeep Wrangler. My favorite part about the car was that the speaker was right above my head—the music I blared only had to travel about six inches to lodge into my brain. I had this portable speaker too, and when I got home I could keep the music going, even in the shower I’d play it. Then, once clean, I’d flip on The Office (again), scroll through whatever social media seemed most interesting at the moment, until I couldn’t keep my eyes open, and then I’d drift off into a restless blue-light slumber.
I mean, there was maybe six seconds of silence in my whole day, which got me to thinking, “Maybe I don’t hear from the LORD because I can’t hear from Him?”
Ever go to dinner with a really chatty crew? You have a great joke that goes unheard. You have a factoid that prescient or a juicy bit of news. Yet it is like standing at the mouth of a revolving door that is moving to fast: You. Just. Can’t. Get. In.
Funny to do that to God. To be so interesting that he can’t get a word in edgewise.
In the Bible, we are told to be still, to meditate on Scripture, and even Jesus took time away from the crowds and the busyness of life. And those very words themselves, the ones found in Scripture, the Bible says that they are inspired words from the LORD Himself, words I can take with me on my phone, words I can learn and memorize, words I can turn the volume up on any time I want; if, of course, I am willing to turn the volume down on all the other noise of life.
But is it worth it? I guess that all depends on who I truly believe God is. If God is just another fairy tale, if he is just another rule-maker, if he is just another authority, yeah, maybe tuning Him out is better. But if God is a Creator, if He loves me and knows me and is for me, if He has numbered my days, and if He has a plan for me, perhaps I need to carve out some time to hear from Him and learn to know His mighty voice.