I’m not sure if it is my age, my stress level or just the way I’m wired, but I’ve taken notice of something lately that shoots my conversations to a whole new level. One might call it the lack of common sense, but I just call it the “epiphany factor” which is triggered by the “oh” gene. You know what I’m talking about; a time during a conversation, when you begin to see things differently or when someone explains something to you and you finally “get it” ….even if it is a conversation of useless knowledge or trivial chat… that moment is the “epiphany factor”. You tend to see them on sitcoms quite a bit, but at our house in 2011, I have been keeping notes of them for a time such as this.
As far as the reasoning for why these conversations are happening and since I seem to be claiming this “oh” gene (which, by the way, lies dormant in my parents), I’m beginning to believe that I’m wired that way. I’m not just thinking this because my husband has been trying to tell me this for years, but because I am seeing it in my children more and more and that helps establish the theory that it may just be a wiring issue with me… yep, born that way.
Here are a few of many examples of what I mean…. these conversations include my 16-year-old (Allison), my 18-year-old (Catie) sometimes my 9-year-old, my husband (Chris) and me….
Allison: So are Vera Bradley and Vera Wang related?
Me: How does that even make sense? They just have the same first name.
Allison: I know… Are they related?
Me: ?? (silence)
Catie: So, are they related?
Chris: Yes girls, they are sisters!
Allison and Catie: Oh…
Conversation in the car in the dark:
Allison: Mom, are my contacts in?
Me: Allison, how on earth am I supposed to know?
Allison: What?? I thought you said the eye place called you and said they were in.
Me: (short pause) Ohhh, I thought you meant in your eyes.
Chris: Oh, brother
Conversation in the car-
Allison:(who was sitting behind me) Mom, I just sent you a picture.
Me: Okay, text or email?
Allison: Text. Did you get it?
Allison: I sent it. Now did you get it?
Me: No, Allison.
A few minutes later…
Allison: Did you get it, mom?
After a few more minutes of the same dialogue….
Chris: Wouldn’t it have been easier for you to just hand your phone to mom and let her see the picture?
Me and Allison: Oh…
Conversation after taking photos of my daughter who was climbing out of a tree….
Allison: Mom, help me
Me: You’ve got it… Come on down
Allison: I’m scared. I’m afraid I’m going to break something.
Me: You’re not going to break anything. This tree is strong and sturdy …. You couldn’t break it even if you wanted to
Allison: I’m talking about me, Mom! I’m afraid I’ll break my arm or leg!
Regarding a glitch in our van’s brake lights, to stop concern about the battery dying, Chris and I decided to trade cars for the day. Our phone call:
Chris: Hey, I’m not going to trade cars now. I put a band aid on it so it is temporarily fixed… at least until I can get home tonight.
Me: Wow, that is hilarious
Chris: What is?
Me: That is so funny, kind of ironic, that you used a band-aid to fix it.
Chris:(with laughter) I didn’t use a real band-aid. It was a figure of speech
This genetic flaw seems to have been passed down to my poor children and unfortunately, the “voice of reason” gene that their father so perfectly owns, lies dormant or at least will be a late blooming gene. I hope they are late bloomers because I will have to say that the wisdom of the “Oh” gene is about a 1 on a scale 1-10 while the “voice of reason” ranks way up there with a 9.9-10…. It just comes in so handy… and it has saved our family embarrassment over and over. (Well, not counting that I’ve just now posted our conversations for the world to read.)
But you know, so often my conversations with God are also laced with the Epiphany Factor. Common sense can’t always play a role in conversations with God because he is so much bigger than that, but I do tend to forget so much when I talk to him. I forget to be quiet. I forget to get rid of barriers between us. I forget that when he makes a promise he keeps it. I forget that he loves me., etc. Many times God has to jump in and, either through his word or his people, stop me and be a voice of reason.
In the Book of Job, Elihu, to a certain degree, was like that; the voice of reason. After listening to Job and his friends, Elihu spoke some things that he felt needed to be said. Job was wondering why God wasn’t filling him in on the reasoning of why he had to endure his suffering and wondered why God was being to quiet. Elihu piped in and stated that God was indeed speaking ….. he was pretty much always speaking but Job wasn’t prepared to listen.
Now, we know that Job had been listening and that God doesn’t always answer our prayers in a way we can understand. He is not always going to tell us why we have to deal with things certain things or go through certain experiences, so Elihu wasn’t completely correct there. He did say, however, that God does speak to us in many ways, we just have to not try to put words in his mouth. He uses things to get our attention and sometimes we don’t understand what he’s trying to get from us because of our pride…. we can’t make out what God wants because we are caught up in our suffering.
I find myself in that same situation so many more times than I like to admit… even though what I experience may not be as great of a suffering as what Job went through, I will often find myself so caught up in my own suffering or uncomfortableness that I can’t hear why God is allowing me to go through it. When I finally let go of myself and allow God to be there, he may not show me exactly why I have to experience what I do, but he at least is there to be a compassionate, protecting, listening and mighty friend who comforts me and provides a peace that I can only get through him. Job’s epiphany factor came a few chapters later when he realized that God’s ways are best…. when I remind myself of that I so often will be given the “voice of reason” and a brand new outlook.
I’m not sure what you may be dealing with today but should you be in a place where God seems quiet or distant, a great start may be not asking why but by asking for his help in taking the focus off of your suffering and allowing him to consume it. I may provide a peace like you’ve never known.
13 So why are you bringing a charge against him?
Why say he does not respond to people’s complaints?
14 For God speaks again and again,
though people do not recognize it.