Pastor’s Blog – April 2, 2021

     One day a Native American from a rural village decided to visit a friend in New York City. As they walked together down the bustling sidewalk, the Native American Indian suddenly held up his hand. They paused and he asked his friend, “Do you hear that?” “Hear What” his friend asked over the sounds of cars and buses, a bit bewildered.

“It’s a Cricket?” His friend replied. “I don’t hear a Cricket. In fact, how is it even possible to hear a cricket over the roar of the traffic?”  The Native American walked over to the corner of the street near a bush, where a small Cricket was sitting. He leaned over and scooped it up to the amazement of his friend.
     The Native American smiled and led his friend to a group of people standing nearby. He reached in his pocket, grabbed some change, and dropped it on the concrete sidewalk. As the coins hit the ground several heads turned.
The Native American turned toward his friend with a smile and said, you hear what you want to hear.
     When we don’t hear God the problem isn’t that God isn’t speaking, but we’re not attuned to the sound of his voice. God could stand before many of us and shout, and yet we wouldn’t hear him, because we wouldn’t recognize his voice.
There was a sign of graffiti which read “if God seems distant and far away, who moved”?
     If you need a closer relationship with God here is a promise from James 4:8 that can help. “Draw near to God and God will draw near to you.” Here’s a plan that will make this promise a reality. Each day set aside a period of time to be quiet and center down. Get away from the external noise and listen. But there is another kind of noise that needs addressing. It’s called a wandering mind. Most people have a hard time with the internal distractions better known as self-talk. To aid in control of this problem focus on your breathing. Do it for two minutes at first and then lengthen it as time unfolds. Remember, God has been waiting a long time to hear from you so listen up.
     If the first few times the quiet and waiting seems unproductive don’t give up. God is at work waiting for the right time to converse with you. In the meantime, the benefits for you are many; less stress, more patience, less anxiety and worry, a better perspective on life.
     Ralph Cushman, a pastor of a former generation, penned a poem that explains what happened to him through this exercise.
I met God in the morning when my day was at its best
And his presence came like sunrise, like a glory in my breast.
All day long the presence lingered, all day long He stayed with me,
And we sailed in perfect calmness o’ er a very troubled sea.
Other ships were blown and battered, other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them brought to us a peace and rest.
Then I thought of other mornings, with a keen remorse of mind,
When I too had loosed the moorings with the Presence left behind.
So, I think I know the secret, learned from many a troubled way,
You must seek him in the morning if you want him through the day.
     It’s time to believe the promise of James 4:8, so set a time aside for a quiet time, free from external distractions, calm yourself of internal distractions and say , “speak Lord, your servant is listening.”
Pastor Gene Wells