This morning at breakfast, my kids were arguing about what food is gross. My daughter insisted plain cream cheese is simply nasty. So my son responded by sticking his finger in the cream cheese and sucking it off to her horror.
My kids are pretty relaxed mostly, but they can argue with the best of them and when they do it gets loud. My son insists his sister’s tv show of choice is the worst show ever (and honestly, sometimes he may be right). Tears follow. Or they argue about what powers work on each other in their imaginary world of superheroes, fairies and mermaids. No parenting book taught me how to mediate arguments about the made up world of my kids.
It gets loud.
Then I turn on the news. I scroll through Twitter. Its much the same: one group tells the other they are the worst mob since Hitler. The other side responds: no, you guys are the worst! The yelling and name-calling escalates till it is all just noise.
Read Psalm 29
I read this Psalm and a few thoughts came to mind. First, my questions of doubt float to the surface (God’s voice doesn’t seem that apparent). Then the opposite (Well yeah, the world is so noisy we manage to drown out God). Finally, I am reminded of Elijah on the mountain, hearing God not as thunder or earthquake but a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19).
Whatever God’s voice is, it is both powerful and majestic (as Psalm 29 says) and small and quiet (as 1 Kings, among other places, says). God speaks into the world, into the noise of children and adults yelling at each other. Maybe God speaks into our life like a lightning bolt (I’ve had a few moments where things became so clear, I concluded it had to be God). Other times God speaks into the stillness.
So I tell my kids to go get dressed. I turn off Twitter and the news. I open a prayer book. A Bible A journal. I sit and listen. Tomorrow I’ll join some college students for a hike way out in nature. And I’ll listen to their conversation, the birds chirping and just maybe…we’ll hear the voice of God.