I spent most of this week with a headache. Not your common, ordinary headache...one of those headaches that kicks the crap out of you like Rocky did the Russian guy in Rocky V (completely unrealistic by the way, the Russian would've creamed him...I mean, look at the guy!).
The first couple of days I managed. Pain relievers seemed to work and I got along fine. By the third day, I was confined to my darkened room, trying to lay as still as possible. I'd tried everything:
I thought it might be sinuses so I bought meds for it.
Someone suggested I might be dehydrated so I drank enough water I could've been a well.
I considered the idea that my eyes might be strained so I stayed off computer, didn't read, and didn't watch TV for a day.
I'm still not sure if it was viral, hormonal, or if the kids have been beating me in the head while I sleep. All I know is being that inactive is not something I am used to. Not sure what to do with myself, I took a quick dive in the pity pool, found the water tepid, and jumped out again.
I began to have a conversation with God. I started out praying for people I know, world issues followed, a list of things I'm grateful for after that...and then somehow it just turned into conversation. The past few months I'd forgotten that conversation with God-like all conversation-is two way. There's the talking part and the listening part. For those of you who might be concerned, I wasn't hearing audible voices...just a sense that God was there, the feelings of peace, of motivation, options coming to mind I hadn't thought of before, verses that I remember that answered questions.
While I hope to never have a headache of that "magnitude" again, I did relish the time spent in real communication with God. I have a habit...and it's one I've indulged in often these past few months...of talking to God rather than communicating with him. I do it with my children too. They are talking to me and I'm half listening, waiting for them to finish so I can tell them what they need to do, what they've failed to do, or what the plans for the day/next day/week are. I get so caught up in the "doing" that I forget the importance of hearing what my children have to say, my friends have to say..what God is saying to me.
When I get like that...so busy that I don't really spend time communicating, in relationship with, being with...God or anyone else...that is when I find myself struggling with impatience, a lack of grace, a bent toward impatience. Communication isn't just about listening to others because it makes them feel better. It's about bringing out the best in me. Especially when it comes to listening to God.
We all know the story of Mary and Martha and how Jesus told Martha that Mary had found the "good thing." I'm sure Martha must have been shocked! To think that sitting and listening as oppossed to being a good hostess was the "good thing" would have been counter cultural to her. That was a completely new thought. And the same goes for our culture...especially today when everyone is in a rush and we feel our schedules so full and we constantly have something in our hand to distract us from the person in front of us. Communication is about talking, listening, without distractions. And-like grace-it is something we need to practice. It's something we need to make room for in our lives. At least it is something I need to make room for in my life. Because I want to be that better me, to engage in the "good thing" as oppossed to the busy thing, because I want the people in my life to know they are incredibly important to me. And because it is the way I draw closer in relationship with God and as much as I want to be a good Mom, make the world at least a little bit better, or be a good friend...more than anything, I want to draw nearer to Him. In doing so, I'm better able to do all those other things.