Tuesday, April 04, 2006

La! La! La! La! I Can't Hear You!

Playing was hard work when I was young. My friends and I would do things that involved a serious level of physicality: we would race our bikes to any destination, run from them to wherever, and make up games that required us to build, climb, run, roll, lift, kick, shout, and shoot. It was a rarity at the end of a summer day that my mother would refrain from instructing me to take a bath.

After my bath, the bathtub would need a bath too. We played hard and loved every minute of it. With all of that energy expended on playing, I rarely had the energy to do my chores. I would come home and the trash needed removing, or the lawn needed mowing and I was ‘too tired’. When I would get around to doing these things, it was like pulling teeth: I hated every minute of it. These tasks drained the very life from my bones, yet they were only a fraction of the effort that I expended in my adventures in playdom.

My attitude was often called into check by my parents, but for the most part, it was a losing battle for them. Few things would frustrate my mother more than the fact that she would have to tell me to clean my room. She was still flustered, even after I would obey and do it. There was a simple problem here: my heart wasn’t in doing these things. I discovered a technicality that worked with some things with parents, at least for a while. It was the ‘Oh I didn’t hear that!’ maneuver. Sometimes it was a deliberate boldfaced lie, but most of the time it was recognizing that they were going to ask you to do some work so you would do something noisy that would prevent you from hearing what they were saying or asking. The theory was that if I couldn’t hear the command, I couldn’t be responsible for doing it. My sister had similar joke about her car: she would say that her car was making a funny noise, so she’d turn up the radio and the noise would go away.

As funny as this is, I wonder how far I have come from this with the spiritual child inside of me. There are things in my Christian walk that I love and will pour my heart into: I love to worship on my guitar, I love teaching, and I love fellowship. There are other things that I know I am called to do, but I try to avoid. Prayer, quiet times, witnessing: all of which I do, but many times it is strictly dry compliance. I stink and fall at so many things in my walk. My heart is clearly not set on them, I will do them in obedience, but they are neither fun nor something that I would personally choose to do. Because my heart is not in these things, God sometimes needs to shout to get my attention.

There is a song verse from Out of the Gray that says something like this:

He is not silent.
He is not whispering
We are not quiet!
We are not listening.

Wow how true is this?! Just articulating this is a painful thing to me. I know God is talking and I am guilty as charged, but then I ask myself why isn’t my heart in these things and why does God have to shake me to get my attention?

I think insight comes in why my mom was so frustrated with my inability to clean my room on my own. It was easy enough for her to tell me to clean my room and punish me for non-compliance, but there was something more that she wanted. It was something that I believe that she could not put her finger on. My mom didn’t want to make a rule for me to clean my room. She wanted me to see my room like she saw my room: as the disastrous mess that it was. God made the law, much like my mom made rules, but God really wanted us to look at sin as He sees sin. Like my mom, God was trying to train my eyes/mind/heart to see what was wrong without the need for rules.

When we do things, are we doing them to make God happy or are we doing them because we see the need for them to be done? What is God trying to get you to see? Take a deep breath, listen, and let God replace your heart of stone with a heart of flesh.



Blogger Rich said...


These last two posts have been really good. You're finding your blogging voice, I think. Good job.

Hopefully, you get more time to do it (even though it does take up so much time, and time's so precious). I'm enjoying these posts.

Wed Apr 05, 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger DugALug said...


Once again, thanks for the kind words. As you can imagine we have been up to our ears in aligators. I look at my blog and I want to work on it, but I can't justify it when I have so much work to do.

I really love writing these, even if you and a few other friends are my only audience. They really help me articulate the things that are on my mind.


Wed Apr 05, 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger Milly said...

Good post I did one called 'Some nights my prayers feel like I’m listening to a Ken Nordin radio show.' If you let the outside world step in you won't hear God.


Thu Apr 06, 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Maeghan said...

Hi Doug,
Firstly, thanks for putting me on your "Nice Blogs" list. (It's time I started one as well for my pondering blog).

Yes, this is a good post. Talking about cleaning, for me it always goes from good to bad, pickup the pieces back to good and then to bad again in an ever-ongoing cycle. The only hope is for the "good" to attain to a higher level than before, at least for the spiritual "good" that is, as it does not seem to be as far as the cleanliness of my house is concerned! LOL

Your mention about "making God happy" did make me think. Would you agree that in a way, we are to do that because we are in a relationship with our God? - that our "making him happy" is not that he will have a nicer day but as a worship that is due to him.

Wed Apr 12, 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger DugALug said...


Without a doubt you are right that I want to make God 'happy' and this, in itself, is a form of worship and praise. I read about King David dancing in streets because he knew it pleased his Lord and maker.

In saying that, I still fall back on that I believe that our praise and worship are a result of what God has done for us, and is quickened by the Holy Spirit. Praising is the outpouring of what has filled our heart.

I know sometimes I worship out of obedience, and as dry as that may be, it is still because I know who God is and what he is doing. I think what I am saying is the praise and worship are the effect and God is the cause.

I guess what I was inferring is that our 'goodness' is not an instrument that we should try to leverage God with because our ability to manipulate doesn't make God happy.

I was calling for us to look at our heart and look around and see things as God sees them. This is the point of the pursuit of being more Christ-like: to see things like Jesus saw them. Boy does that sound good on paper. It is so hard to do in real life!

Thanks for your kind words.

God Bless,

Wed Apr 12, 08:06:00 AM  

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