Called by the beep

It was a quiet, relaxed Sunday morning.  The kids were spread throughout the living room reading, playing games, doing puzzles and building with Lincoln Logs.  I was making rolls for dinner and had the dough kneading in my mixer.  The mixer completed its 8-minute cycle and beeped to signal its completion.  Wandering into the kitchen to attend to my rolls, I almost got run over by Josiah.

“Mom, there aren’t many dishes to unload!” he exclaimed as he opened the dishwasher.  I glanced at the mostly-empty dishwasher and saw a few dirty plates from breakfast.  Josiah grabbed a handful of those plates and started putting them away.

“Josiah, those dishes aren’t clean.  I didn’t run the dishwasher after breakfast because it wasn’t full yet.”

“But Mom, I heard it beep!”  You see, one of Josiah and Kia’s chores is to unload the dishwasher.  And although they had actually unloaded the dishwasher already once that day before breakfast, and Josiah was engaged in putting together a puzzle, he heard the beep and obediently came running to attend to his chore.  Laughing, I explained to Josiah that the beep he heard, although it sounded an awful lot like the dishwasher beep, was actually from my mixer.  Shrugging his shoulders, he happily returned to his puzzle.

As I formed my rolls, I started thinking about Josiah’s response and wondered if I respond in such a quick, positive, obedient way to the “beeps” from God.  Do I drop everything I’m doing – even if what I’m doing is really fun?  Do I jump in to do what I’m called – even if I just obeyed a short time ago?  Am I even listening and aware of God-beeps, or do I get caught up in the busyness of life?

I think all of us could improve how aware we are of God-beeps in our lives.  One way to do that is through increased communication (talking & listening!) with Him through unceasing prayer.  If you’re like me, you might long for, yet laugh at the ridiculousness of “fitting” unceasing prayer into your already-full schedule.  But it’s possible.  Let me share a tip.

One of the many books I’m reading right now is all about different types of prayer.  The author suggests establishing artificial markers in our lives that will serve as reminders to stop and pray – even if just for a minute.  Your artificial reminder would be something that frequently occurs throughout your day.  If you’re a high school teacher, for example, it might be a ringing bell signaling the end of each class period.  If you work in an office, it might be a ringing phone.  If you work in retail, maybe it’s a customer coming into your store.  If you’re a mom, maybe your reminder could be every time your child(ren) asks you a question.  What might be a good artificial reminder for you?  Whatever it is, pick something that will remind you to invite and recognize God’s presence in your life.  As that practice becomes more regular and routine, you will no longer require the artificial reminders.

This is but one small idea.  Perhaps you have ever better ideas.  (If so, please share!)  At any rate, I pray that I will increasingly become aware of God-beeps in my life.   I pray that, like Josiah, I too will jump up and respond happily and obediently when I’m called by His beeps!