why talking to God is always better..

I was feeling pretty thoughtful last night, so I drove out to my friend Jenny's house. I told her it was because I had something to bring her, which is true, but mostly it is because I felt like talking. Jenny is 30 years old, and she is very good at life, which makes her wise, and a very good person to talk to. She is way too cool for me, but she likes me for some reason, and I feel very lucky to have her as a friend. Anyway, we sat last night for about an hour or so on her back porch, looking up at the stars, talking and thinking about life. And on my way home from her house I was thinking about our talk, and about why I like talking to Jenny so much, and I realized it is because she is a good listener. She is probably the best listener i know. When we talk, I know that she hears what I'm saying, and that she is taking it all in, but she doesn't always rush to reply or give me advice. Sometimes she asks questions, sometimes she changes the subject completely, but oftentimes she doesn't say anything at all. I hated this about Jenny at first, if you want to know the truth. I hated it because I could never tell what she thought about what I was saying, and I am the kind of person that cares a lot about what you think about me and what i say. Too much, in fact. But over time I have come to really appreciate and admire this quality in Jenny. She doesn't talk just to hear herself talk, like most people do, but she choses her words very carefully, and she gives you time to think. And because of this, I think more about what I say as well, and I always feel like I've learned something new about myself when I leave a conversation with her.

So anyway, last night on my drive home from her house, I was thinking about all of this, and I was also thinking about faith and God, and about how my biggest struggle with God is that He is not tangible, that I can not see Him, that He can't answer me when I talk to him. I have a hard time with prayer because to be honest, sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself. I know that God exists, and I believe in Him very much, but the whole prayer thing has always been a struggle for me. I used to pray in my car, but I've seen The Truman Show one too many times, and as a result I have this thing where I think everyone is watching me when I'm driving. I realize that sounds incredibly narcissistic, but its true. So I used to drive along in my car and pray out loud, but then when I pulled up at a light, I always felt really awkward, because I thought the person next to me would think I was some kind of weirdo, talking to myself in my car. Needless to say, I stopped doing this, and as a result I found myself praying a lot less. That's not the only reason I prayed less, I'm not that shallow. But somewhere along the way, I got out of the habit of praying, and it didn't bother me nearly as much as it should, and I think the real reason for this is because I can't see or hear God.

Anyway, last night when I was thinking about prayer and why I struggle with it, I started thinking about Jenny, and about how a conversation with her is not unlike having a conversation with God, because a lot of times there isn't a response. And that bothers me. Well, it used to at least. But last night I realized that God not responding is one of the things that makes prayer beautiful. For one thing, it helps us develop faith. Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the proof of what we can't see, and I can't think of a better way to develop it than prayer. Another thing that I learned is that there is value in speaking our thoughts aloud, not only because of what God will do with them (which is of enough value in and of itself), but because it helps us to process and think as well. Alot of times when I talk to Jenny I realize that I find the answers to my problems just in saying my thoughts out loud. And while I believe that through prayer God works and creates solutions for us, I also think that, in addition to being a request, prayer is also therapeutic, and that there is a lot to be gained from simply talking to God, from telling the maker of the universe, someone so much bigger than we are, our thoughts and struggles and concerns and problems. Not only does sharing things with God strengthen our relationship with Him, just like sharing with friends strengthens our relationship with them, but it also allows us to surrender control of the things were holding on to, which is crucial if we expect to see God doing things in our lives. Through prayer, we are able to give God room to work in our lives, which he almost always does, and that is why it is so important to pray. And that is also why talking to God is better than talking to Jenny, or whoever you like talking to. Because even though may not answer with words, He can do "immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine", and that's a whole lot more than any of our friends, as much as we may love them, can do. So I have found myself talking to God a lot more today, even at stoplights, despite the glances of the people in the car next to me. Besides, they probably think i'm talking on a Bluetooth anyway...

1 comment:

Kaitlynn said...

thank you for that. your not the only one who struggles with that and needs someone to listen-love from the room down the hall.