God, Stop Talking!

We were finishing up our day at the beach, and my kids and I were taking the sand toys down to the water to rinse them off. An older gentleman stopped to admire the large hole my kids and their friends had forged in the break line of the waves. He and his wife had been strolling along, enjoying the afternoon breeze.
He started up a conversation with me- chatting about growing up in New Hampshire, the temperature of the Atlantic vs. the Pacific, and how strange it was in winter as a child, to stand on the edge of the ocean which was under snow. Nothing extraordinary stuck out in conversation, but I thought him a doll, amiably rambling to a stranger on the beach. His wife came over and started to pull him away. He resisted, chatting about his grown children, and then began to briefly share about his wife giving birth almost 20 years ago on the interstate highway.
“Maybe you heard about it…we were almost to Disneyland, heading to the hospital…
My mouth dropped open with intrigue,”Really?!”
“STOP TAAAALLLLKING!” My attention was immediately turned towards the wife who had just yelled at her husband while pushing him backwards in the sand. She continued on with the story. He interrupted again.
“WILL YOU STOP IT?! YOU TALK TOO MUCH!” She picked up the story back where she had dropped it.
I felt like I was standing smack in the middle of a practical joke. My mouth fell open, and my eyes were wide. I listened to what she was saying, but I was thinking she was a piece of work. Really? She feels a needs to yell at this poor guy, and on the beach in front of strangers?
He tried chiming back in again, “…and I prayed for a police officer, and when we looked up…there one was!”
“STOP TAAALLKKKING!” She gave this man another shove.

God spoke to me that afternoon. Yes, God can speak while your toes and children are covered with sand. While a woman yells, and while you glance at a plastic beach shovel being tumbled in frothy whitewater…I’m listening.
Isn’t that how we can be? Isn’t that how I can be? Hard of hearing when it comes to God’s voice? Anxious to be the one in charge? We can be so quick to get our point across…to possess the very last word, that we don’t hear the slightest whisper of the One who’s seen it all.

We want to tell our story. I personally like to watch the response to my words on your face. But, I fail to remember that this entire life was authored by another- One so great He keeps your tears. A story so grand it forever points to a kingdom far better. Nothing I have to say is as important as what He wants to speak to you. Nothing in the entire world is better than when He does.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Rachel says:

    :: jaw dropped :: My goodness!

    And yes, that is a picture of what we can be like as well.

  2. L.M. says:

    If you hear an actual, literal voice talking to you when no one else can hear it, you may be suffering from some kind of auditory hallucination and you should seek help. The idea that an external force is interfering with your thoughts, or introducing alien thoughts into your mind, is also a common symptom of mental illness and you should seek help.

    Please speak to your doctor and maybe look into the mental health services that are available in your area. I know you think I hate you, and perhaps you think I’m just being mean, but I am sincere in my concern (trust me, I don’t joke about mental health issues).

    1. Tidbitter says:

      Hi L.M., I haven’t heard from you in a while! I literally laughed out loud while reading your comment. I appreciate your concern, but no, I don’t hear audible voices, and do not have a mental illness. I also don’t believe you hate me, but I believe you won’t understand how God speaks until you introduce yourself to Him. Why would He talk to you if you don’t want to believe that He’s even real? (Smiling) In other words, why don’t you try and surrender your life to the One who gave it to you, and see if the relationship I have with God can even be had at all….goodnight, my friend.

      1. L.M. says:

        You’ve given me a lot to think about there, Tidbitter. You suggest that I ‘don’t want to believe that He’s even real’ but, honestly, that’s not my position at all. My beliefs are not based on whether or not I ‘want’ God to be real, I just don’t think He’s real. There is a difference.

        I get the impression (and please do correct me if I’m wrong) that you think everyone has some sense of God but some people deny Him or don’t want Him to exist. This is absolutely not the case. I have no sense of your god (or any other supernatural or mythological creature).

        If I were to try to surrender myself to your god then I would have to actively coach myself into believing in something that I don’t think is real. It would have to go beyond just pretending; I would need to be completely sincere. In other words, would have to very desperately and actively want your god to be real and base my beliefs on that want. I would have to want God to be real so much that the want destroyed my thoughts, my senses, my experience, and my common sense. In some strange way (and this is not as egotistical as it sounds, I promise) I would have will Him into existence.

        I know Taryn sometimes writes about how the Christian god is not worthy of worship (these are not her exact words, she’s free to correct me if that’s not the gist of what she is saying) and, in some ways, I do agree with her. If I had to actively brainwash myself, force myself, into believing in a god that I don’t think is real, it would not be your god.

      2. Taryn says:

        Do you realize how silly this sound to people who don’t believe? You are saying to introduce myself to an invisible person in hopes that this invisible person will then decide to start sending messages to my brain. If I told you to do this with any other of the various gods that “exist” in the world you would think it is silly too. If it makes you feel any better I have said “god if you are real, show me in some way.” Either he doesn’t exist or he doesn’t like me. I’m going with nonexistent god who wouldn’t like me if he was real and I wouldn’t like him either.

  3. Wade Ogletree says:

    Most Calvary Chapels are on the small side. The one that initially sent me out was the largest I’ve been involved with, and it was perhaps 300 people. The last two have been in the rough 100 range give or take. My own was much smaller than that. I know what it’s like.

    Oh, we would have carried on for the few who came, but the assumption would have been that this had not been from God. I’m just thankful that it didn’t go that way.

  4. Wade Ogletree says:

    I’ve a different kind of problem with asking God to talk to me. I’ve recently posted about an experience following through with what I thought was a vision from God…or just my own ego-induced imagination. (See Directed by God) God was faithful, but there was so much at stake that I really find myself not only not asking that He show me more…I’m almost afraid that He might. If it had just been my imagination, the repercussions would have been devastating. I guess I am afraid. I’m afraid of being wrong. God forgive me.

    1. Tidbitter says:

      Hey Wade, thanks for your comment. I read your post Directed by God, and then I read Elijah’s Desire to Die. We’ve never met, but now I’m excited to see how God’s vision plays out. You did all the ‘right’ things. You believed God’s hand was on something, and you acted in faith. You stepped out, interceeded on behalf of the community there, and extended your hand of frienship. Then you went for it. Something tells me that the Spirit of God is using this season to prepare your heart for what’s needed when you are sr. pastor again. That takes trust. You know as well as I do there’s this trusting and waiting on God part. The hard part. The part that says, “do you want me to step out in faith, or do you want me to fast and wait on You?’
      As an outside perspective, the part that I thought was interesting, because I’m sure you’ve probably known The Lord as long as I have, is knowing that numbers aren’t what matter. What if only 3 kids come to watch a skit, eat snack, make a craft, and then play a game? What if God chooses to call even one of those to Him? Will the volunteers be wasting their time? You’re out some gas money? What if you’re being used to ‘only’ plant seeds, or ‘only’to water a few? If that’s all God was doing, was the vision, God’s vision specifically to you Wade, and all your sweat and tears worth nothing?
      Growing up at Calvary Costa Mesa I’ve seen great numbers. But now, being involved in leadership at a few small Calvary’s the numbers are much smaller. Are my 14 vbs’ers not worth my time? God hasn’t called me to asses the success of His ministries- He’s simply calling me to obedience in them.
      Praying for what I know will be amazing in all that your hands touch,
      Your sister Audra

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