I don’t enjoy talking on the phone. I never have. In fact, in eighth grade I thought something was wrong with me because I didn’t list talking on the phone as one of my hobbies during an assignment in English class. All the girls around me did.
I don’t know exactly what it is–I enjoy talking to my friends in person–I just don’t ever have the desire to call someone. Maybe it’s because I can’t see the person, and I can see the mounds of dishes in the sink. Maybe I’m not a good listener; I really don’t know. I call my mom because I have learned that she enjoys hearing from me, but if she decided that she didn’t want to talk on the phone, I probably wouldn’t call her, either.
The one exception to my little rule is my husband. When we were dating, I would’ve spoken to him (and did sometimes) all night on the phone. I couldn’t stand to be apart from him, and hearing his voice on the phone was the next best thing if we couldn’t be together. But we were in love, so that doesn’t count. I’m still in love with him, but he would get mad if I kept calling him at work.
I’d much rather do things with people and talk that way–get a cup of coffee and talk for hours catching up, have a game night and eat brownies while laughing at how stupid we are–which might also explain why I prefer small, intimate groups for fellowship versus big gatherings.
Fortunately, most of my dear friends are very similar to me, so they are not offended that I don’t call. Unfortunately, most of my dear friends are very similar to me, so we can go months without talking and have a lot of catching up to do when we do see each other. The fact that many of them live out of state, and I have three children (who all misbehave at the exact moment I get on the phone when I actually do make a call) who prohibit me from taking spontaneous (or planned, for that matter) road trips, makes staying on top of these friendships difficult. No matter my excuses, if I go months without talking to someone important to me, then I am going to lose out a little on that connection.
My relationship with God is similar. I go to church every Sunday, and I lead a small group with my husband. I love volunteering, and I am passionate about sharing God’s love with other people. I read the Bible most nights, and I honestly love Jesus. The problem is that I don’t talk to Him as much as I should.
Prayer for me is like talking on the phone. When I do it, I’m making myself do it. Sure, I pray a thousand times a day. I pray over meals, I pray with my children before they go to school and each night when I tuck them in bed. I pray when I read a tragic story or think of a friend in need. It’s the one-on-one conversation time with Jesus that I struggle.
Yes, part of the problem is that I’m having trouble finding a consistent time to pray every day. Chloe is anything but consistent with her sleep patterns, so I’m not exactly sure at what time I would have to wake up to ensure I’m waking up before her. Likewise, her inconsistent sleep patterns contribute to my falling asleep as soon as I touch the bed at night.
However, I can’t totally blame the motherhood thing. I’ve never been good at prayer. I have a hard time talking to someone I can’t see and an even harder time listening. My prayers become very formulaic: “Okay, first I need to thank God for this. Now, I need to confess this sin. Okay, now I’m clear to ask for help in this area. And finally, I’ll pray for our troops. Amen.”
As I’m reading what I just wrote, I realize what a crappy person I am. The God of the universe loves me with all my faults, yet I don’t want to talk to Him because I can’t see Him. Well, it’s not that I don’t want to talk to Him, but I’d rather we talked while we did something together.
Talking and doing isn’t bad, but, just like with friendship, some of my deepest connections were made during an intimate conversation, a conversation away from all distraction. I have to find a way to reconnect with God.
A few days ago, I decided to get serious about this issue. The first quiet moment of my day was in the late morning while Chloe was napping, so I grabbed it. I think I initially started praying while making my bed just to get things going, and I talked out loud. Yes, if you were spying on me through my bedroom window, you would’ve thought I was talking to myself. I don’t care; it kept me from getting distracted. So, anyway, God and I had a long conversation, and do you know what He told me? He said I needed to call my sister and apologize for something. I’ve always said God has a sense of humor….
Since that day, I have not prayed like that every day. I did today, though, and I’m going to keep trying until it’s as natural as brushing my teeth. If there’s any relationship in this world worth my time, it’s this one.
A few weeks ago I started the Quality of Life series. My hope was to write a few posts encouraging all of us to make our lives better by making wiser choices in certain areas. I thought we would all help each other and have an interactive forum where we could give each other tips.
Shortly after my post on the environment, I felt convicted. Of all the choices I could make in my life, the most important choices are the ones about my spiritual life. I wrote today to address an area in my life that needs work.
How about you? We don’t need to make this post interactive but rather reflective. Are you like me and need to have a good conversation with God? Maybe you’re great at prayer, but you need to spend some time in the Word. Maybe you don’t even know what you believe and need to investigate, actually research what Christianity is about and whether or not Scripture is reliable. There’s really nothing more important to do.
Being a good steward of the environment is important. Finding the romance in your marriage is a must. But of all the ways to improve the quality of your life, finding God is the best one.