I walked into the kitchen and found Max staring with rapt attention out the window. When I looked out, I saw nothing, but he whimpered and whined until I finally let him out. Shot like an arrow from a bow, Max took off across the yard. And that’s when I saw it. Frightened by his barking, the poor kitten scrambled up onto the lawn mower seat. I called Max, but he refused to allow the trespasser out of his sight. That’s when the kitten decided to bolt for the woods, Max close on his tail. Again and again, I called, but Max was focused on the prize to the exclusion of all else, including my voice. And that’s when it occurred to me.
What am I chasing? For seven years, my goal was becoming published. I chased it with fervor. Every book I purchased, every conference I attended, every workshop I traveled to. . .all were done with the intent of coming one step closer to my goal. But then, last year, God’s voice broke through the clamor.
“Focus on the journey,” He said, “for there is much to be learned and enjoyed along the way.”
Those words broke my heart. I was in such a hurry to get published that I missed the important lessons He had for me as I got there—things like patience, perseverance, humility, and trust.
I have repented of the time I spent not listening to Him with regard to my writing, but what about other things? Have I become so focused on earning a living, owning a house, and raising my kids, that I’ve tuned out God’s voice? I hope not. God has a lot to say, and I want to be sure I can hear it.
Deuteronomy 4:33-39 (New King James Version)
33 Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live? 34 Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him. 36 Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire. 37 And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, 38 driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. 39 Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.