This week my husband and I bought a new car–the first new car we’ve ever owned.
My writing partner/colleague and I do a lot of driving.
For instance, we’ve driven from California to Michigan more than once. So it seemed like a good idea for two women alone on the road to start driving a car that had less miles on it than the distance from the earth to the moon. (238,900 miles for you Jeopardy fans.)
I didn’t need a lot of bells and whistles. You don’t expect them when you’ve been driving a vehicle with a driver’s window that you can’t roll down to pull through a Sonic drive-thru in the rain unless you’re going to a pool party and don’t need the window back up for say…three days.
So I got really excited when I learned my car came equipped with Bluetooth. This would mean I could talk on the phone hands-free. The world would be safer. My husband Dan would be less fearful about calling me. And I could get frustrated trying to figure out yet another form of technology. Yeah.
I was tooling down the interstate yesterday, mentally making a packing list for an upcoming speaking trip, when my car rang and pulled my thoughts back into the present. A few seconds later, I was talking to my ninety-two-year-old father, whose voice was apparently being broadcast to me from what sounded like the bowels of my engine. (Do people eventually get used to this?)
The experience was a bit surreal but pretty cool–to be snatched out of my day-to-day reverie by the voice of my father and be reminded what’s really important. To take time to listen to him.
Self-talk is a lot like learning to listen expectantly for a Bluetooth call. One minute I can be sitting beside my husband, annoyed that he’s breathing wrong/chewing too loudly/has hairs sprouting from his ears. Mentally, I’m packing my bags for trip to Wife-Nagging-Land, stuffing in self-righteousness, pride, a controlling spirit, sarcasm, condescension, and a few other toxic attitudes into my bag. But if I listen, a call will come.
The still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, speaking the words of the Father.
“Take a look at what you’re REALLY doing. Listen to my voice. Right now, in this moment, I want to change your heart and change you.”
That’s pretty much been my journey for the past eight years–learning to listen for the voice. Leaning into the expectancy of change. Thanking God that I’m not the same nagging wife and mother I used to be.
And that through the divine gift of self-talk, I can chat with God non-stop. Hands-free.
Yes, I’m packing my bags and ready for this trip.