Haven’t we all heard the words “We need to talk” and immediately we feel our stomachs start tightening into a knot?
The situation can vary from an electrician or plumber (after checking on a problem in our homes) to a construction problem to our banker talking to us about the results of a loan, to a doctor after an examination or appointment, to a friend, or spouse approaching us with those dreaded words. Yet…why should they be dreaded?
Experience. Experience has taught us that too many “We need to talk” conversations end badly. And it really doesn’t matter who instigates the conversation…yourself or another…it is still probably not going to go well…at least to one party involved.
Truman Capote’s famous slant on the art of conversing is right on target.
The problem with the “We need to talk” conversations is that they are normally monologues. The conversational instigator wants to get the problem or bad news out as quickly as possible and then (usually) really doesn’t want to listen to a response…especially a long one…His/her job is done….they told you what they thought and now they just want you to deal with it, no matter how devastating it might be to the listener. Their job is done.
It is another case of us playing God. Nicole Johnson in her article “A Deeper Knowledge of God” makes this astute observation:
“My personal translation of the verse: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) is-“I can be still and know that God is God, or I can stay busy and keep wondering if I am.”
When we begin running our own lives, making all the calls, and handling all the problems…we make ourselves the center of the universe…not God.
Johnson remembers this old joke that is still an “oldie but goodie” worth sharing.
“What is the difference between you and God?”
“I don’t know, what is the difference?”
“God never gets confused and thinks He’s you.”
Stillness provides us the opportunity to keep the “Who is Whom?” question answered correctly.
There comes a certain point, in all our lives if we live long enough, when we realize we can’t play the role of God…not successfully over the long period of time called eternity. We realize we might want to be like God…but we do not want to be God.
Don’t we all know people (and at different stages in our lives might even have been one) that just can’t sit still? They have to be doing…just “being” is not good enough…not satisfying enough for them. They can’t seem to concentrate on anything long enough to complete it but like the butterflies seen in my garden today…these people flitter from one place to the next…never satisfied with being stationary.
If we are true to ourselves we see this ‘condition’ for what it is…’harried and hasseled’ is our excuse for not being silent, still, and seeking God . We are terrified of what we might discover if we actually talk and more importantly listen to what God wants us to hear.
As parents and grandparents we know the importance of stillness when we try to help our children or grandchildren with their ‘boo boo owies.’ We can’t put a band-aid on a scraped knee if the child doesn’t sit still…or put ice/antiseptic cream on a painful insect bite if the child keeps moving. God must feel the same way when He tries to have a conversation with us…but instead watches us grab the band-aid or piece of ice and stomp off to do it ourselves.
So until tomorrow…the next time we need to talk with God…let’s remember to take a deep breath, then take a moment, and then tell God where it hurts…remaining still, silent, and open to His healing and advice.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*Honey Burrell and Susan Cadwell….”We need to talk”.…Thank you both from the bottom of my heart for being the first donors in the Race for the Cure. The warmth from your donations has me already “warmed up” for the race ahead. Bless you both!