Bartenders, Shrinks, Dentists, Spouses, & God

I used to have another blog–IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND. This is something I posted on July 27, 2011.

From what I’ve seen on television, the listener of choice for many people appears to be the local bartender. Of course, that’s a toughie for those of us who don’t drink or want to hang out in bars.

Hopefully, most people with serious emotional problems get professional help. I doubt that I’m the only one who’s thankful for that kind of listener.  Professionals like those may be paid to listen, but at least they’d supposed to be objective.

But what about those of us who just like to talk or want to unwind verbally?

My six-month dental checkups are a lot more pleasant–even fun at times–because my dentist and his hygienist have both gotten to know me so well that I can talk to them about a number of subjects I wouldn’t talk with the nice fellow at the 7-Eleven down the street about. They listen, they feel free to ask questions, and they really seem interested in more than just the health of my teeth.

But you know what? I’d much rather share items of interest with my wife. She’s an even better listener than the folks at my dentist’s office, and she knows me well enough to put things in the proper perspective. She can usually say the right things in response, and I couldn’t ask for a more receptive person to talk to. And let’s not overlook the fact that I can talk to her about  things I wouldn’t mention to my dentist or his hygienist.

Things I wouldn’t mention even to a some other friend. After all, she’s my best friend. Best earthly friend, that is. So why settle for less than the best?

But what about those secret–or at least those private–thoughts a person doesn’t feel comfortable talking with any other human being about? (If you don’t have them, too, I’m in serious trouble.) Most of mine are too silly to talk about. Or maybe I’ve talked about similar things so much I hesitate to revisit a path that I’ve already worn bare. Maybe I’m just being irrational because it’s the middle of the night, and my thoughts aren’t worth waking my wife over.

God, however, is still in the listening business–not His primary one, of course–and I’m thankful for that. Nothing is too silly, repetitious, or inconveniently timed to call to His watchful attention.

Of course, I do have a little problem talking to someone I can’t see. Someone whose parts of the conversation are not audible. I often have to remind myself that prayer doesn’t mean talking to myself.

God is real. He’s not only “out there,” but inside me, and He’s always listening. I don’t even have to verbalize my thoughts. Sometimes I can’t. But I always make sense to Him.

Even when I don’t make sense to myself.

I can’t explain how God can be in tune with all of His children at the same time–there are millions of us–but I believe He is. And He’s the most perfect listener of them all. He has answers–perfect answers–even though the answer is often “no” or “wait.”

And for those prayers not requesting an answer? The ones where I just want to talk with Him because He is my heavenly Father and He loves me? And He wants me to talk to Him because I love Him, too?

I imagine Him saying, “I hear you, son!” and giving a big grin of approval.

What greater blessing could this talker ask for?

I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

P.S. I’ve just republished PROJECT MUFFINTOP as JUST FRIENDS? (Yes, the question mark is part of the title.) Friends at the Facebook group Avid Readers of Christian Fiction had convinced me that my original title and cover weren’t teen friendly. I hope they–and teens, too–will find this more appealing.

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Fog and Haze

 

Life is full of problems, isn’t it?

Sometimes they’re little. Things that irritate or distract us, but aren’t terribly important from the viewpoint of eternity–oversleeping, burning the toast, having to scrape frost off the windshield, bogging down behind slow drivers who’re hogging the fast lane, forgetting one’s wallet.

And that’s just the beginning of the day. The list of other possibilities is endless.

No matter how small those things are, they tend to get us off to a bad start. If we’re realistic, however, we would admit that none of them is apt to change our lives for the worse permanently.

It’s like driving through a patch of fog. We know we’ll soon come to a clear spot and the rest of the fog will eventually burn off and disappear.

Too many people feel like they’re living in a haze rather than simply passing through foggy spots. Whatever they’re enduring seems endless. And hopeless. Whether their problems are financial ones that seem to keep binding them tighter, relationships that make life painful or unbearable, or a persistent physical problem the doctor can’t determine the cause of or treat successfully, those people can’t seem to see beyond the haze surrounding them.

They’re very much like these two Nicaraguan villagers. No matter how far or how fast they peddle, their road is dirt, and peddling through it will always make everything around them appear hazy.

They don’t have the power to change their situation. They can only dream of a ride like this that’s at least a little clearer:

It’s actually the same road, though, and it’s still dirty and dusty. The difference is one of perception.

God views our problems far differently from the way we do. He sees solutions we can’t even dream of.. He doesn’t enjoy watching us suffer. He wants to help.

We just need to reach out to Him in faith.

If solving the problem and removing the haze is His will, He will do so. But sometimes He seems to prefer helping us  deal with the haze rather than providing an immediate solution.

Of course that’s frustrating. But acknowledging that He’s in control can change our perception.

Rather than feeling totally overwhelmed, lost in our haze of worry and uncertainty…

 

He wants to help us see our situation more clearly:

I can’t imagine any Christian waking up each morning and saying, “Lord, give me more problems so I can depend on You more.” But I hope every true Believer begins the day with a prayer that says, “It’s all in Your hands. That’s all I need to know.”

For some reason, this blog post has been a hard one to write. I hope and pray that it’s made sense and has perhaps even spoken to a personal need. Your comments will be welcome.

I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

          

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