The few times God has spoken directly to me, it wasn't with a voice of thunder reverberating around me with solemn majesty.
And He never speaks to me like something out of archaic poetry, or the King James Bible. There is no, "Fear not, Beloved Daughter, to approach with joy. Be not afraid to cast thyself upon my mercy."
No. When God speaks to me, which has happened just a few times in my life, it is in a firm voice that speaks within my mind, but the words do not come from my thoughts. It is a surreal experience, but so definite that I do not hesitate to state that it was God speaking to me.
I have just re-read the Attolia series (a set of four books by Megan Whalen Turner, in the kid's or possibly young adult section at the library). We love this series! Anyway, in these books there are a few times when the gods of the main character speak to him. At one point, he complains to a friend that the poets lied; that the gods never speak to him in bold and majestic poetry. No, they say things to him like, "Stop whining!" I laughed when I read that, because I could totally relate.
So, to the Safeway parking lot.
Well, actually, before we get to the parking lot, there needs to be some background.
There was a time, a couple of years ago, when for two or three weeks in a row, I had the absolute best days...on Monday! It was great! Everyone around me was slogging through their miserable Monday-ness, and I was breezing along, having the most blissful time.
On Monday evenings, from September through May, I work in the Awana program at our church, helping kids learn about the Bible. My friend's son was in my handbook group at the time of this story, and he has some challenges in his life. During the time I was having these blissful Mondays, this friend called me on Monday afternoon, a couple of weeks in a row, to say, "He's had a pretty rough day at school. Where are you at with your day? Can you handle it if he's struggling this evening?" And in the peace and ease of my days, I said, "I'm having a great day! I can totally handle it!"
Then there was the dark side of my Marvelous Mondays. I glided through the whole day, smiling and serene, basking in the peace of my own personal day. And then my family came home. And they spoiled my perfect day, with their crankiness, and their outrage over the day, and their very neediness sucking the marrow from my bones. I did not appreciate the way they ruined those perfectly lovely days. I'm pretty sure I even complained to them, "I was having this great day, and then you ruined it!" Needless to say, not some of my finest parenting moments!
Those few weeks of the Mondays of Peace and Sweetness passed by, and soon after, I stopped to visit with a lady I know, in the Safeway parking lot. Yes, we have at last arrived at the fabeled Lot of Parking that began this whole saga. I told her all about my Wonderful Mondays, and how much I enjoyed them, and how they enabled me to pour peace and love on the ruffled feathers of my friend's son...and also how my family just wrecked the whole thing and spoiled it for me.
We said goodbye, and as I walked to my car, God spoke to me, quite clearly, inside the privacy of my own head, interrupting the thoughts that were muddling around in there.
And God said to me....
"STOP BEING SO SELFISH WITH YOUR GOOD DAYS!!!!!!!"
Yet another time in which I felt I should be wearing a big label that said, "It's not about me!" I should probably tattoo that on the back of my hand where I can see it often. It bears repeating.
Yes, those lovely, peaceful days were a gift to me, but they were not for only me. I was feeling resentful of how my family spoiled my shiny mood...instead of loving them from that place of peace and sweetness; blessing them at the end of a hard day!
Those lovely days were FOR me, but they were not ABOUT me!
They were a gift to me, but a gift I was supposed to share!!!