Sometimes I just have to write. At least in my world, when I have an "off day", I need to get away, find a coffee shop and write. Do you know the "off days" I'm talking about?
For some reason everything just seems worse than it was the day before. Nothing has really changed. You woke up, had your coffee, and got the things done that needed to get accomplished. It was a productive day, and yet "something" still doesn't feel right.
Is it possible, that when your "off day" rolls around, it's because God is trying to get your attention? Or that the "something" is an indicator? Could it be that God has been speaking to you for a little while, giving you sound instruction on what He knows is for your benefit? But, you haven't heard or you haven't been listening?
Let me clarify what I mean by the term "listening". If you have heard God and you haven't actually responded to His voice, then I would argue your only doing half of the listening.
Listening requires something from the listener that goes beyond attention.
Sometimes I feel we have a world of half-listeners. We either hear what we want to hear or do what we want to do.
For me, I can't separate the two (hearing and doing). I was recently in a challenging conversation. One that needed to be had. One that required more than just an ear that would hear, but a heart that would respond. I've figured out, through many failures, that my heart position is much more important than anything else. If my heart is in the right place then my actions and my listening will align with God.
Why does Jesus usually put the heart first when He talks?
Mark chapter 20 vs 30 Jesus says,
"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'"
God speaks to, takes action with and moulds the heart. He has so much to say about our hearts. Yet we so often look to everything but the heart. We concentrate on actions or words because they are much easier to see and observe. The heart lies beneath the surface. Requiring much more attention and deep exploration. So the question is: How do we look to the heart?
Are questions, not answers the key?
The answer isn't easy. But we must try, because if God thinks it's important then so should we. Part of the answer lies in looking inside of ourselves and it comes in the form of questions. Isn't it interesting that Jesus usually answered questions with questions? I think we may have a key to the heart that we may have overlooked. An answer may keep us at surface level, while a question takes us deeper.
Let's go back to my difficult conversation. I realized that I needed a heart that's softer than the disagreements or trials that stand in my way. I needed a heart that is willing to respond more then I need a wall of reasons why I'm right.
Questions, not answers.
Can a "bad day" be an indicator that God is trying to get our attention? Will we open our hearts to listen and then act on what God is saying? Maybe we should end there. Because questions keep us active, while answers may keep us above surface.
My challenge to myself and the reader: Let a bad day be an indicator rather than a problem and let questions move us into action.
Jason LaLone was on staff at YWAM Brisbane and is currently doing a Bible school in Mexico. He is passionate about discipleship, taking Jesus' command to make disciples a practical realitythat he can live on a daily basis. He loves lasagna, cats and used to dislike Monday's, making him most like Garfield.
Jason LaLone's previous articlesmight be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Jason-LaLone.html