Okay, I didn’t come up with that phrase. Carl Wheezer did. (Carl’s the one in the back of the space ship. Love him.) The first time I heard him say it I thought I might pass a kidney stone (if I’d had one) laughing so hard. Considering I’m known to get motion sickness on a straight road and even driving on occasion, the world does make me dizzy.
It’s the last month of school for my three kids and my husband got a flat tire and the electricity was shut off because I don’t have enough time to sit and keep my bills straight (even with online bill pay) and our basement electricity isn’t working because of a broken GFI switch (that my husband thinks mice ate through) and I need to get the mulch spread before it rains and one child has a play this week and there are at least two lacrosse games and it’s “appreciate the teacher” week and I have to fill out all the kids’ registration packets by Friday and I need to update my facebook status and tweet my twitter peeps and exercise because it’s almost time for the pool to open and I need to have coffee with the ten people I really, really, really want to have coffee with (you know who you are!). . .
. . . and on and on and up and down the carousel goes . . .
I’m turning quite green.
Just when I thought I had all that under control, people started twittering about incorporating twittering and twitter posts into church services (even keeping a run of them going on their big screens!).
I was inclined to buy some bird shot and borrow a neighbor’s shotgun.
I do enjoy twitter and there are benefits to it. But during church services?
Curtis has some wise things to say about this totally rude and absurd phenomenon on his blog, Just Wallpaper.
In the meantime, it has me thinking about solitude.
Just yesterday I was thinking about how God whispers. I think He whispers because He wants us to put our hands out and tell the world to hush–even for a moment–so we can really stop and listen to what He has to say to us. I was led to this passage:
Then he was told, “Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by.” A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper. (1 Kings 19:11-13, The Message)
What did I get out of this and what does it have to do with Carl Wheezer and twitter?
1) We have got to make time to get away to a quiet hillside and give our full attention to God.
2) God will come to us, but not in the earth-shattering, selfish ways we hope and expect.
3) God whispers, and when He does, we better put everything else down (including twitterberries) and listen.
4) After the fires in our lives, He comes . . . gently, and quietly.
Can you think of some of the best teachers and leaders you know. . . and when you think of them, can you also remember the times they have mezmerized a room with a whisper?
A whisper . . . not a twitter.
Lastly, brace yourselves or run to a bunker, because I’m going to drop a ”Nouwen Bomb” (as Curtis calls it):
“In our chatty world, in which the word has lost its power to communicate, silence helps us keep our mind and heart anchored in the future world and allows us to speak from there a creative and recreateive word to the present world. . . Too often our words are superfluous, inauthentic, and shallow. It is a good discipline to wonder in each new situation if people wouldn’t be better served by our silence than by our words. . .
“. . . solitude, silence, and prayer allow us to save ourselves and others from the shipwreck of our self-destructive society. The temptation is to go mad with those who are mad and to go around yelling and screaming, telling everyone where to go, what to do, and how to behave. The temptation is to become so involved in the agonies and ecstasies . . . that we will drown together with those we are trying to save.”
Take a moment today.
Find a quiet hillside.
Tell the world–and your sweet soul–to shhhhhhhhhhh.