Have you ever heard someone say, “I heard God say…” or “Then God spoke to me…?” When we are younger, we wonder why this person is lucky enough to “hear” God speak. Why can’t we ever hear God? We say, “I talk to Him all the time and never hear anything!” As we get older, we realize that the voice they speak of is not an audible voice, but rather a calling from the inside of our hearts. Mother Theresa said, “God speaks in the silence of the heart.” God reveals to us through the story of Elijah that He is found in the still small voice (1 Kings 19:12). When we listen, in prayer, we hear Him.
Every morning, as missionaries, we begin our day with an hour of Eucharistic Exposition: our holy hour. This is a quiet hour with the Lord. If we hope to live our entire day in prayer we must start by giving our first fruits (Proverbs 3:9) to the Lord, including the first fruits of the time given to us in our day. During this time of prayer, I heard the Lord beckoning softly within my heart, “Leave all behind and come, follow me… Leave all behind and come, follow me… Leave all behind…” I pondered these words which the Lord placed upon my mind and wrestled with the idea of truly leaving all behind.
“But Lord… I can’t leave all behind. I have friends and family who support me, I want them to be a part of this mission, your mission, so I must communicate with them. I can’t leave my phone behind because it’s vital to keeping in touch those from afar and sharing Your love more universally. How am I suppose to truly leave all behind?”
Through much time in silence I began to understand what He desired from me. He isn’t calling me to be a nomad. He doesn’t want me to truly get rid of all my material possessions. Many of my possessions can be used in great ways to bring glory to God. My computer can be used to spread His word farther and wider than I’d ever be able to travel. My phone enables me to contact friends and family immediately in a state of urgency and request prayers in an instant. No, the Lord isn’t calling me to drop everything I have, but He is calling me to glorify Him with the stuff that I have.
The Lord called me to schedule out the things that were taking up a lot of my time. By limiting my facebook usage, refocusing the meaning of my twitter posts and committing myself to consistent and routine blog posts and mission emails, I am able to fully utilize the worldly stuff around me and not allow these possessions and technologies to control me.
I believe God is calling us all to reevaluate everything that we do in order to do everything for Him. When we have control over the things around us, then we are protected from unintentionally allowing the things around us to control us. When my phone vibrates, do I really need to run to it right away? Every time I sit at my computer, is it really necessary for me to check my facebook? I desire to live every moment following my Lord, and while He may not be asking me to eliminate all things from my life, He is calling me to reevaluate how I spend my time using my material possessions.