Friday 12.28.12 Insight from Sarah Newberry

Sarah Newberry serves as the Worship Arts Leader at the West campus of The Church of the Resurrection. Sarah joined the church staff in March of this year, and was a volunteer with the Vibe service before that.

Before you continue on readings the GPS insight today, I have a challenge for you:

Stop. If you’re multi-tasking while reading this, put it on hold for 3 more minutes. You made it through a few minutes of the GPS thus far, I bet you can make it 3 more. You can do it!

Stopped? Good.

Now, whisper outloud (or in your head) the following:

God, 

   I want to know you. I don’t want to just talk about you to others; I want to be a part of what you’re doing. I want to be a part of your kingdom. Speak to me today. Help me to listen to you. I’m ready to listen, and I’m eager for your words.

 Now wait in silence for 1 minute. Breathe. Listen. Amen.

 

Are you really ready to listen? I’ll be honest; many times that I stop to read the GPS, I’m in the middle of something else; always trying to knock two birds out with one stone.  But that’s not the kind of ears, heart and mind that God seeks.

I grew up in school with a diagnosis of A.D.D. from age 8 through part of college, so “Sarah, LISTEN!” was something I heard quite a bit. I got pretty good at something I’d call “fake listening”, where I’m paying JUST enough attention that I could recite back about 85% of what the person was saying if they ever tried to call me out. This way, I covered my bases, but still was able to divide my attention where I wanted to. I’m sure that everyone reading this has NEVER done that, right?

 (Just a heads up, fake listening doesn’t bode well when you’re trying to hear from God. This is personal advice, because unfortunately, I’ve tried. Luckily, you can’t trick God into thinking you’re 85% listening.)

Joseph may not have been the most charismatic or popular guy on the block, but you can tell from the story we just read that he was listening to God’s instruction. And I don’t know about you, but there’s clearly a pattern of God using ordinary people to do extraordinary things, so why don’t we practice more active listening so that God can use us too?

I heard from somewhere, that to get yourself in the habit of talking to God and learning to listen to God (prayer can be just as much listening as it is talking),  that it can help to set yourself times throughout the day to just say

 “I’m checkin’ in, Lord.”

So, Challenge #2 : Set yourself up for success. Set yourself an alarm on your phone, 4-5 times a day this week. Mark it “Checkin’ In” or whatever cool, hip phrase you come up with. “Shout Out” or “Quiet Time”. Give yourself about 3-5 minutes, and pray. Listen. Really listen.

God is always speaking, whether it’s through people, nature, music, in the silence… and He’s always on the move; but if we’re too busy to stop, listen and react to what He’s doing, we’re missing out on the reason we’re here.

So, that’s it for me. I’m going to go “check in” now before I head to bed.

I’d love to hear how your check-in’s go, so feel free to send me an email at sarah.newberry@rezwest.org !

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.