Jan. 20, 2016
The Companion, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I told you.
I received an interesting phone call today. While working at church, my cell phone rang. Caller ID said it was my father-in-law’s cell phone. When no one spoke back to me, I hung up and quickly called back the number. What if something was wrong with my nearly 91-year-old father-in-law?
Instead, my technologically challenged husband Rick answered the phone. He didn’t realize they had called me. His Dad must have accidentally pushed the “send” button on the cell phone while Rick was trying to explain to his Dad how to use his cell phone. The church assistant was laughing nearly as loudly as I was. My husband, who insists on only having a flip phone because anything else would be to “complicated”, was teaching his even more technologically nonagenarian dad the wonders of a flip phone. Again.
As a child, I remember a pastor explaining the Holy Spirit like that of a telephone line. The Spirit is the “phone line” between God and us. It’s the way God communicates with us; if we only hear answer the phone.
I know there is a Holy Spirit because I’ve felt the Holy Spirit in my life. It’s the nudging’s I receive to call or stop and see someone. It’s the guiding force when making a challenging decision. It’s the calmness I receive when a day has been crazy and I need to quiet myself at bedtime. I serve as a pastor because of a message I received from the Holy Spirit when I was called into pastoral ministry.
While I’ve heard the Holy Spirit many times in my life, I sometimes question how many times the Holy Spirit spoke to me … and I missed it. Times when I wasn’t able to distinguish the Spirit’s voice from the others. Specific messages the Spirit wanted me to acknowledge and I chose not to. It’s like the phone call that came today and no one was on the other end. When the Spirit sends the message, I may not realize it’s coming or I simply ignore it.
Sometimes we need to be taught how to acknowledge the Spirit’s voice, just as Rick was giving his father a refresher course today. Too often, I’m like my father-in-law. I’ve been told this information before. I forget it, don’t really listen and absorb it or think it isn’t necessary. I’d like to use the excuse that it’s too difficult, like trying to use the flip phone. But I know this isn’t the truth.
It would be easier if the Holy Spirit put messages on a lighted board and impossible to miss. Maybe we just need to be more attune. We don’t like to miss calls from our loved ones. Let’s keep the communication lines with the Holy Spirit just as open.
Lord God, thank you for the many times you’ve desperately tried to communicate with us. Forgive us for the times when the Spirit has spoken and we ignored it. Or didn’t listen. Or chose not to hear. May we be encouraged to listen for the Spirit’s guiding voice in our lives this day. Amen.
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