We moved so far out in the country, that when we first moved here, we had to walk the quarter of a mile back to the tree line in the field behind our house and climb a tree stand–hunting stand for those non-hunters out there–to get a signal. We could have been in one of those Verizon commercials like the guy who recently switched to Sprint.
Phone signals were not the only problem…
When I first started teaching online, I had a decent Internet connection. I taught four years from the comfort of my home–yes, sometimes in my jammies–and had infrequent problems connecting to my classes. Having an okay connection had become the standard. That all changed one summer…
No one could explain why I could no longer maintain a stable connection at all, and I became the Internet hobo of regions west of Lansing, MI. Early in the morning I began at the local coffee shop and then moved as quickly as possible to the library once it opened, praying during my ten-minute break between classes that I had enough time to get there and that they would have a private room available to me once I arrived.
I stayed all afternoon, but my two evening classes per week found me again either at the coffee shop where I started in the morning or at the Chinese Buffet. I know that one sounds odd, but we live in a small town, and the owners of that buffet are very connected to the community and were very happy to accommodate in my time of need. In fact, they invited me to use their home if I wanted to. Small towns are good that way.
Even now, after trying multiple services, we still cannot stream movies over the connection at home. I’ve long since moved my business to an office closer to town, but we’re still too far from signal at home, and satellite services are so badly oversold that they provide no better solution.
I had a thought today about my faith life, and how sometimes I get too far away from the signal to hear God’s voice. I move too far from His signal and am satisfied with an okay relationship with Him, until everything falls apart, and I think it was just a sudden barrage of life’s issues, when in reality, I drove myself there, way out in the country to a comfortable place where life satisfied me. Crisis ensues, and I call in the revivals, self-help religious book studies, small groups, worship music, and everything else I can imagine, and in many ways I become the faith hobo, racing from one temporary base to the next asking God, “Can you hear me now?”
I’ve allowed the busyness of life to move me too far from the Signal, and unlike my career moves, I haven’t taken the drastic measures necessary to fix the problem. Instead of moving toward His Word, I race around to temporary fixes that make me look spiritual but that have very little to do with actual spiritual growth.
…and He patiently waits for me to plug directly into the Source and hear His voice. In those quiet still moments listening to Him as I finally plunge into His Word, I realize He was listening all along, and what’s more important: He called to me all along, longing to hear me say, “I can hear You now.”
…and that’s the view from My Front Porch.