There once was a house that resembled my life. On the outside it was big and beautiful. The house had a fantastic floor plan, spacious bedrooms and a big back yard for the kids to run and play. The house to most would be a wonderful place to live and raise a family. What was not visible from the outside was that there were areas where the paint was beginning to chip. If one ventured inside she would catch a glimpse of the carpet stains and recognize the downstairs heat had not worked in two winters. The house over the past 17 years had experienced the normal wear and tear and the owners had not done an awesome job of maintenance. One day the owners noticed that it was not simply the carpets that needed to be cleaned, the yard could use some attention, the basketball goal was shattered, and the dryer was truly on the fritz. On that day the owners became overwhelmed by the circumstances and problems because slow and simple maintenance had been ignored and now there was much work to be done. Now every complication became a tyranny of the urgent…what needed to be fixed the fastest and what could be ignored? Where is Ty Pennington when I need him?
The dryer has squeaked for 6 months on and off but now the noise is so deafening that when laundry is placed in the dryer and one stands near it for a few seconds it will cause your ears to ring. A few weeks ago I drove out of my garage and could hear the dryer noise (with windows up) from the car. For those of you who are meticulous about home maintenance please refrain from judgement…please do not throw stones at this glass house. Tonight in a fit of defeat, prayer and pure sadness I sensed I should go and place my hands on the dryer. Knowing that she was doing her best to function but she was also so very broken; I stood in the laundry room hands on the dryer until they grew hot…feel free to judge here…I was judging myself!
But in that ever so loud and deafening moment I heard a still small voice: “this is how loud and chaotic life is when it is not well maintained with me. I can bring calm in the presence of the noise if one slows down long enough to listen…but do you see why it is difficult to hear My voice?”
A holy moment in the laundry room led me to a sweet revelation: I cannot intimately hear from a God that I am constantly tuning out with the busyness of this life. There are millions of distractions that keep me fixing and fluttering from thing to thing–all the while the deafening dryer is screaming in my ears and God’s voice is drowned out.
Every day there is something fresh and new from Him…His voice. Where is the wonder in that? Have I been shuffling myself and family from thing to thing for so long that I am not stopping to slow down…to fix the MOST broken thing? Our hearts were designed for more than the lawn, baseball games, Wii, iPhones, facebook, tennis lessons, soccer, college football, ballet performances, trips to the gym, carpool, a 9-5 job that we love, or even service at church.
The deafening dryer that I was cursing moments before now reminded me that my heart (like my home) must be maintained. I must cultivate time to rejuvenate, to make space livable for my God. If I am distracted there is little room for Him to make my heart His home.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed.