This is a re-post of one of my favorite articles I’ve ever written for the devotional blog Meditations of His Love. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂
So this is what it looks like. You’re sitting at your desk in the middle of your everyday routine and there’s a pile of things awaiting your attention. A really big pile.
There’s too much to do. You’re overwhelmed. You can’t handle this on your own. You’re sorting through the pile of stuff, careful not to let the whole thing collapse and bury you underneath it, and you find the next thing to work on, and at the same time your brain is thinking about what you’ll be focused on after that. You’re completely immersed in this important work you’re doing. Everyone will be really pleased with all the projects and special endeavors that you’re accomplishing. Oh wait, that was just your imagination. There’s no way you’ll be able to make a dent in what needs to be done. And then the receptionist pages you. You pick up the phone, resolving to hang up as soon as possible and get back to everything else that desperately needs your attention.
“What is it, Gertie?” You ask impatiently.“It’s your best friend.”
Sigh. You don’t have time for this. “Tell him I can’t talk to him right now, I have too much to do.” You go back to work, managing to get three small things done while worrying about a sticky situation that really should have been done first except that you don’t have a clue of how to go about it. You’re about to tear out some of your hair in frustration when the receptionist’s signal buzzes again.
“What is it now?!?” “It’s your best friend again. He says it’s important.”
“I really can’t talk to him! I have WAY too much I’m working on right now. Can’t you tell him to leave me alone today?” “Well, if that’s what you want.”
Blessed silence reigns as you get back to work. Well, until an argument starts nearby about whose turn it is to refill the copy machine. And of course the construction workers in the street pick that time to start jackhammering the sidewalk. There’s noise and confusion all around you and you can’t even hear yourself think, much less form a cognitive thought and get something done! And then the buzzer sounds again. Ready to scream, you answer. “Helloooo?!?!”
The poor receptionist is timid as she says “Well, ah, it’s your best friend… he says he wants to help you with your workload.”
You don’t have the funds to hire an assistant, much as you like the thought of some help.
“Oh really? And what will that cost me?” You inquire.
“Nothing. He says it won’t cost you anything – he’ll help for free. All you have to do is listen to him.”
You mull that one over. There must be a catch somewhere. And besides, this conversation is taking up a lot of time that could be spent working.
“I’m sorry, but I really can’t be bothered right now.”
You hang up.
Turning to the pile of papers, you reach for the one with a red scribble on it that says “URGENT!” but when you pull it out the whole thing topples and you’re suddenly buried in the mountain of paperwork. You can’t reach your desk and have no way to contact the receptionist. You’ve finally had enough. You lie there inside the gently rustling cocoon of papers and start to weep… tears filling your eyes and rolling down your cheeks.
Then you hear a quiet little “ring… ring… ring…” coming from your pocket. It’s your cell phone. You reach for it and read the screen to see who could be calling your personal number. It’s your best friend, and suddenly you realize that you want nothing more in the world than to talk to him at that moment. You’ve desperately needed him all day long, and yet when he called you wouldn’t answer. Now you’re ready to talk to him.“Hello?”
“Hi. It’s me.” The sound of the familiar voice is too much for you and you break down again. Through the sound of your sobs you hear him speak.
“Hey, it’s okay.”
“I’m so sorry I didn’t answer your calls!” Your voice is contrite and soft for the first time that day. “And now I’m in a huge mess, and I need help.” “Well, I’m right here.”
You hear the door to your office open. And then the phone hangs up, but you hear his voice again.
“Would you like some assistance?” It’s really Him.
With a happy cry, you reach out from within the pile of junk and stick your arms up through the papers. They’re grasped by a pair of strong, warm hands and suddenly you’ve been pulled from out of the mess. His smile shines and you know you’ve been forgiven. Redeemed. Restored. And then you look around, and suddenly all the paperwork is sorted into neat piles and stamped with…“It Is Finished.”
By now perhaps you’ve guessed that the above is an allegory. Who do you think the characters represent? Well, obviously ‘you’ represents ‘you.’ And yes. The best friend is the Lord.
I based this off of 1 Samuel 3:1-8. The Lord calls Samuel, a little boy working in the temple who does not yet know him, three times before Samuel realizes he needs to answer. I read this account over again and started to think about the times the Lord has been calling me and I do everything but answer and listen to him.
How can I possibly justify doing this? God loves me so much that my mind can’t even fathom it. He created me. He knows my innermost thoughts, hopes, and dreams, and it hurts his heart when I turn away from him or worse… simply go about my day thinking I can do everything by myself and not bothering to even send a few words his way.
It is especially important to listen to the Lord when we are struggling with a tough situation or decision or problem… like that pile of paperwork. There’s really no way we can handle it on our own. We weren’t created to be able to. We need the help of our creator.
If this post tugged your heartstrings today, go find a quiet place and have some alone time with the one who loves you more than anything. Talk to him and pour out your heart… and then listen.
And next time you feel that still, small voice inside you, listen up.