Today was a day of grey skies, leftover snow flurries, and cold temps. I decided lunch at Culvers would warm me and Noah up, so at noon we hustled inside and settled at a cozy table by the window. At first, it was fun. We filled our ketchup cups and set out our napkins. Noah commented on passing cars. But then, after about three minutes or so, it got boring. I feel a little guilty admitting that because I know I’m supposed to enjoy him when he’s little because he’s growing up so fast and all that. But it’s still true.
I figured out why that is. It’s because Noah doesn’t have an interest in me that extends beyond what I can do for him. He doesn’t ask me how I’m doing, or care to hear about the things that matter to me. He doesn’t want to know what writing project I’m currently on, what I want for Christmas, or what movies I’ve seen lately. So, basically what happens is if we’re not talking about him, or what he likes, or what he doesn’t like, or what he wants, then he really doesn’t care. And if I had to guess, I’d say we’ve all known people like this. Adults (not three-year-olds) who aren’t interested if the conversation is not about them.
I think without realizing it many of us do this very thing in our daily walk with Christ. We pull a “Noah” on God. We pray, and go on and on about the things we need, or want, or care about. And of course this is what we should do. God wants us to come to Him as children to a loving Father. But we are missing out on a big part of that relationship if we don’t take the next step – if we don’t open up our Bibles, read His Word, and listen to what He has to say.
Now, get ready for the amazing part.
Even when it’s God’s “turn to talk”, it’s still about you and me, and how He loved us enough to send His Son for us.
God is a lot more patient and selfless than we are. He doesn’t want us to take an interest in Him because He’s narcissistic. He doesn’t need to brag about His latest accomplishments. He wants us to take the time to listen because He knows it will do two things for us: fulfill us while we live and transform us when we die.
One day, I will see God face to face. I will be able to ask Him anything I want, talk to Him, and yes, listen to Him. I can’t even imagine what that will be like. But I don’t want to forget that He’s here with me right now, every moment, every day. I can pour my heart out to Him and know He hears me.
And best of all, I know He will always answer if I but take the time to listen.