There are days we can’t hear ourselves think, let alone hear God speaking to us. On those days, hiding in a cave can seem really appealing.
That’s what Elijah did in 1 Kings 19:11-13. Waiting on the Lord’s voice, he sought solitude in a mountain cave, and there in the quiet he heard it – a still small voice. The voice of the Lord.
That’s great for Elijah. But he didn’t have screaming kids hanging off him or a teenager who just dented the family car or 3 new bills to pay or homework to help with or cheerios to crawl after on the floor. In the chaos of a mom’s life, there can be no time (and no cave) available for even 10 seconds of quiet.
But here’s the thing
It’s true Elijah was alone. But he didn’t fill that quiet with the clamor of his own anxieties... he kept a listening heart even through the windstorm, earthquake, and fire that happened moments before! Things which are pretty anxiety-inducing for humans in general. It was that listening heart that allowed him to hear God’s voice after a frankly terrifying day.
So how? How can we keep a listening heart in the midst of the chaos of our lives?
Elijah must have been keenly aware of God’s presence with him at all times. He came to a point in his life where he was alert, ready for God to speak at any moment. The first step toward a listening heart is awareness of God’s presence. He can speak to us in surprising ways – in the offhanded comment of a stranger, in something your kid does that mirrors your relationship with God… but like Elijah, we have to be conscious of God’s presence, trusting He is with us, in order to be alert to His voice.
Deepen that awareness today. Grab something to help you keep count – phone app, paper tally, anything – and start tracking the moments you’re aware of God’s presence. Breathtaking sunset make you feel thankful? One. Morning coffee assure you God is equipping you to survive? Two. Phone call from a friend fill you with questions for God? Three. Church bells ringing? Four. Mopping up your kid’s face and realizing Mary did this for Jesus? Five. See how many ways you recognize God entering into your human, mother’s experience.
Whatever today’s count, up your goal for tomorrow. Create a habit of awareness of God’s presence throughout your entire day so that you are alert and ready for Him to speak to you.
Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life,
form yourself in me,
that I may see with your eyes,
smile with your smile,
and love with your heart.
Mary, our Mother, Teacher, and Queen,
pray for us.
By Sr. Orianne Dyck, novice