The current sermon series of Listen! Hearing that still, small voice and finding your own has completely moved me. But not like you think. I’ve literally been moving things. And I don’t use the term literally lightly.
Dr. Elnes spoke of the story of Elijah finding “THE cave” in a time of great chaos, Elijah heard from God while in THE cave. There was great chaos, but in the silence afterward, he heard God. Later Dr. Elnes asked that we go to our cave, pray, ask God for something, write it down and see if the question was answered. Mine was answered, for the record. But that’s not the part where I moved stuff.
As my question was answered, quite quickly – God’s so courteous like that – I had another dilemma – I don’t have a cave. I have no cave. There is not one place I could go in my home that I could be guaranteed quiet or no interruptions.
I’m still upset my bathroom doesn’t have a lock on it. Even if it did, it wouldn’t matter. The odds of someone desperately needing me when I’m in the bathroom are pretty high. You know, urgent things, like one of my kids needing to know where their particular shirt is (for the record, it’s crumpled up on the floor in the depths of their closet). Very important things like that. Even if no one needed me while meditating in the bathroom, the angelic chaos otherwise known as my family simply doesn’t disregard distractions.
We’re also blessed with my husband, Chris, able to work from home. He’s a pretty quiet guy. But I can’t plan on meditation, and a conference call on speakerphone echoing through the house. For the record, I don’t think I’d be okay with complete sound proofing of my house either. It’s best I can hear everything going on.
I do love our home. It’s comfy, it’s furnished, it’s full of groceries, our bills are paid, and there’s a lot of love and laughter going on over here. I just have no cave. I need a cave.
Over the years, I’ve mentioned that we could convert our tool shed in our back yard to a writing cottage for me. It’s been shot down every time by the naysayer – my husband. Something about needing the tools and there’s no space. Blah, blah, blah. I got a new laptop instead. So, I relented on my quest for the writing cave.
But then Dr. Elnes mentioned that cave. And it just so happened to have been right after Chris sold his ’72 Chevelle, freeing up an entire stall area in our garage. Stars aligned, and it came back to me again. Except, instead of a writing cottage, this time I needed a cave. Chris balked at the idea again, until I may or may not have mentioned that while in prayer, God answered my question and told me to build the cave. I’m not sure it was God, or my own stubbornness for my big ideas that I cannot let go of. So, I went the God explanation to Chris. I compromised that I’d clean out the entire tool shed, and made a concession to a trial basis – nothing permanent. Since it was a divine home improvement suggestion, Chris gave me the nod of approval.
Last Sunday, right before church began, I asked Chris if he’d written a question for God down, and was it answered. He nodded slyly. And then, just as the prelude church music ended, he leaned down to me and whispered, “God told me to NOT build the cave.”
He was kidding, of course. If he wasn’t, God favored me, because Chris was headed out of town for half a week. Just enough time to clear out the shed.
Preparing a cave is a lot like preparing for prayer – just like Skype Guest, Jack Levison spoke of last week. Jack made a point that prayer isn’t always a question and answer session, but a preparation of our minds. As I’m cleaning out the tool shed, I was alarmed at all the stuff that was in there that no one knew existed along with the minivan load of trash I hauled away. I had to clear out the clutter to make room for (fill in blank here.)