Playing "Telephone" with God
Did you ever play the game "Telephone" when you were young? Maybe you played the game with a different name. But this is how it went for me and my classmates in school.
The teachers (nuns in my case) promised us that if we could get this right, we would get recess 10 minutes early. Hey, in third grade, that was powerful stuff.
We would be sat in a large circle in the room. The nun would read a sentence to the first child by whispering in their ear. Then that child would whisper it to the next, and so on around the room. We had to keep the whispers low.
If the last person stood up, and said the sentence EXACTLY as the nun had had it written at the beginning, we got to go to recess early.
Do you know what we renamed the game? Kill the guy at the end! Only once during my third grade years did we get it right. Once.
The nuns explained that the lesson was to never repeat gossip, because we wouldn't get it right anyway. They had a good point. I see another.
The motto on the bottom of this website for months had been, "May you recognize the voice of God when He talks to you". Like us in that classroom, recognizing the voice of the child next to us was not enough.
The new motto is born of the miscommunications I have had in my life, especially the ones that I didn't want to have.
Hearing and Recognizing the voice of God is not enough, one must Understand and Respond.
Here's what happens too often for us to be content with our spirituality and our wisdom. Maybe these never happen to you, that's great. They sure happen to me too often.
- God tells us to study His involvement in our world over the centuries, and we feel the urge to read a historical novel.
- God tells us to read His Psalms, but people hear the urge to read poetry, as in the movie "Dead Poets Society".
- God tells us to look for His hand in our life today, and we sense the urge to take a trip to 'enjoy nature', or we get the news to 'keep up on current events'.
- God tells us to look at His chosen people, and we look at either our own perceived righteousness or at the flaws of a group of people we don't respect.
- God tells us to care for 'widows and orphans' and we focus on our rights and how we have been mistreated.
- God tells us to help a neighbor who is grieving, and we go see a horror movie.
- God tells us to pray for someone, and we email a joke to someone else.
- God tells us to humble our pride, and we complain of what is going wrong in our lives.
- God tells us to let our light shine, and we complain of the darkness around us!
- God tells us to trust in Him above and beyond everything else, and we complain that our security blanket has been taken away.