When we moved into our new house, I borrowed/purchased baby monitors for the girls' rooms. The master is tucked in the corner of the downstairs, while both girls' rooms are upstairs. Especially with Sophia going through treatment, I wanted to be able to hear them if they needed me in the night.
Well - I've been having problems with interference since the first few weeks. I hold the monitor to adjust the volume and it is fine. But when I set it down - this terrible whining sound comes out. No matter how I turn it, move it, shift it - I still get a lot of white noise.
I thought I had it licked but last night, Dave was upstairs and heard Sophia cry out - she was scared from a bad dream. They talked for 30 minutes and all was ok. I say all of this second-hand because I never heard a word of it. Apparently, I had the monitor turned down to low.
Any of you Mommies out there will know how I felt. I bought the monitors to make sure I was available to help my children when they needed me, but I wasn't using it right, so I missed the opportunity to comfort my child. Mommy guilt set in and I had a hard time going back to sleep. (Add an extra helping of guilt due to her being scared AND having cancer. Guilt has no logic to it, apparently).
I messed with the thing until I found a spot in the room where I could turn it all the way up with no interference. Then, a thought occurred to me.
Much like I knew I had issues with my ability to hear Sophia, I know I have issues purposely listening for The Lord's direction. In "church-y" language, we call the ability to hear The Lord discernment, and it is a critical skill for an abundant life in Christ.
Yesterday, I started my When you Pray devotional again, written by Ruben P. Job. This paragraph, from his book A Guide to Spiritual Discernment, came back to me in the night:
Discernment at its best is the consequence of a daily and lifetime walk with God. A lifetime of such companionship produces profound results that range from guidance in decision making to transformation of one's life. Living a life of discernment, then, is a simple process of staying attentive to and open to God in all of the active and contemplative times of our lives.
It's good to know that I have a lifetime to get good as discerning God's voice. But I desire that skill now. It is a discipline that must be practiced and I must ask for it to be cultivated in my life.
At my count, 15 times in Scripture, Jesus declares "Whoever has ears, let them hear!" The Old Testament prophets, especially Isaiah and Jeremiah, spent a lot of time pleading with the people to listen. It is an inbred human problem - our hears are habitually filled with white noise, which is mostly self-generated.
But Jesus also said we would be blessed if we looked for and tried to hear what The Lord is doing and saying in and through us.
In other words - I need to turn up the volume and find a spot, everyday, that does not interfere with my God Monitor and I will find many of the things I have been missing/lacking in my life on a regular basis. Critical things like peace, wisdom, joy, kindness, self-control, etc. (Full list available in Galatians 5:22-23).
So, that is my prayer this week. Heavenly Father, help me stop, look and listen for You. Turn up the volume on Your Voice and give me the strength and courage to find a spot, daily, that doesn't interfere with me hearing You. Prepare me for what is to come. Speak, Lord - for your servant is listening!