It’s an irritating thing. Made more annoying by the fact it’s happened a few times over the last few months. At least this time, I was somewhat forewarned.
It’s one of those things about being married to the pastor.
I’m not a big talker. I think things through, analyze them before most things come out of my mouth. I’m more apt to write about something than talk about it.
Fridays are my husband’s day off. Sunday is a work day. Fridays are a time to regroup. It’s one of the only times through the week, we can have uninterrupted conversations while the boys are at school. A few times over the last few months, I’ve been telling him about a couple of struggles I’ve been having. He listened, offered encouragement but he’s not one to tell you what to do.
And then it happened. On Sunday morning, he gets up to preach and the words coming out of his mouth have to do with exactly what I’d been venting about, on Friday!
What?!! I’m getting uncomfortable sitting there. Because he didn’t mention, not once, on Friday this was what he was preaching on, on Sunday! Not. Once. He wasn’t using any personal illustrations. It wasn’t that. It was the fact that he knew what he was speaking on, and didn’t utter a word. Not. One.
I don’t usually know ahead of time what he’s preaching on, unless I ask. Most times I like to be surprised. I don’t have any input on his sermon topics nor do I ever want to, in case you’re wondering.
Needless to say, when he got home after the service the first time it happened, he was met with a few questions! And a somewhat irritated wife. Like you couldn’t have mentioned that this is what you were speaking on? No. Apparently not.
His response was he wanted me to hear it through the word. He knows me too well. I’d blow him off. He knew this would be much more effective. It was. I heard it. Loud and clear.
As I’ve mentioned this didn’t happen only once, but several times over a matter of weeks. You think I would have kept my mouth shut. Then it happened again this weekend. At least this time, I knew about it beforehand.
On Saturday, he asked me to help him with some wording. He had to tell me what the sermon was about for me to have any idea on how to help. When I heard the topic, I said I thought I’d skip the service. I meant it too. He said no, I should be there. Of course he did. Because I had just vented to him the day before about that very thing.
It’s a conspiracy. Seriously.
You’d think I’d get the point, sit up and take notice. Take stock. I don’t even have to let my mind think about it. I know the why, the what, etc.
Why is listening so hard? James talks about how sin is conceived first in our thoughts. You think it enough, you’ll believe it or do it. The same can be said of obedience and victory. It has to be the way we think first and then it becomes actions. The first part of that is listening, especially when the same message constantly replays over and over. Yes, it’s definitely a conspiracy. To bring us back to the One who truly loves us. Who paid the price for our victory. Who is cheering us on.
I’m not preaching at you. More like I’m trying to convince myself. I don’t always want to listen. I want to do what I want to do. Don’t you? We like being in charge of our own lives. We like control. Some days we like our sinful natures way too much but we don’t like to readily admit it. I just want to pout or be mad. Sometimes I like my rebellion to be frank. Because if we listen then we might have to make some changes. We might have to take a good long look at the One who is calling to us, asking us to hear His voice and make a choice. It’s easy to say that, to write it, to know it. At times and seasons in our lives, it’s so hard to do.
Like I said, I write things out to understand them. We all have things in our lives that we need to get a handle on. Once you get a handle on that thing, another one will pop up. We need…I need…, to be listening to the Voice who can help us through it. The victorious life is a journey not a quick overnight fix, but the pay off is worth it.
“You must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.” James 1:19
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.” James 1:22