Monday, October 3, 2011

Stop, Look, and Listen

"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track."
Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message)

She's three and proud of her acquired independence evidenced by her newest phrase, "I can do it!" when we try to help. So, patiently we watch her wiggle into her jeans, struggle with collars, adjust her backward socks, and step into her black Mary Jane's with the wrong feet.  But she figures it all out, eventually, or asks for help to get unstuck.

Signs of maturity don't stop with dressing herself. On our weekly walkabout the neighborhood she prefers pedaling her musical car alongside us--fully engaged--rather than passively riding in the stroller. Her senses on high alert, she's learning to stop, look and listen for on-coming traffic when she gets to stops signs at our sleepy, suburban intersections. But, for those distracted times we're there giving verbal cues--feeding her independence while guarding her from harm.

In our walkabout with the Lord, we crave independence, too. And, patient God watches us wriggle throughout our day--struggling to place our left foot in the right shoe--until we get stuck and ask Him for help. Like a loving parent, He's right there alongside us when we face those big red stop signs--encouraging us to stop, look, and listen to Him before we meet life head-on at the intersection--yet never usurping our independent will.

Learning to navigate with God through this world isn't easy. It takes patience. Just like learning the rules of the road, we start young, small--like a toddler learning to ride her bike alongside their parent before they're trusted and ready as a sixteen-year-old with the family car. It takes time, patience, and yieldedness.

We first have to learn to:
  • Be alert -fully engaged with our surroundings and God's presence
  • Obey the signs- stop, slow, caution, curve to avoid harming ourselves or others
  • Look and listen- for God's cues before moving forward

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