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Faith Imagined: Internet Cafe: Confusing One-liners

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

July 18, 2010

Internet Cafe: Confusing One-liners

I enjoy jogging on a certain main street in my neighborhood. A lot of joggers, skateboarders, and cyclist make their way down this road. The etiquette while jogging is to nod and say hello as you pass another jogger. If one is feeling very festive, she can try to squeeze in a fast one-liner during the few seconds of contact.

For example, one could say, “Windy day. Can’t wait to go back the other way” or “I forgot that summer has arrived already” or “Wonder if I can call a cab to pick me up.” These are quick little remarks that entertain the joggers as they sweat out all their frustration and that morning’s donut. The comments are not terribly witty or remarkable; rather, they mainly work as creative little fillers.

I always wear my headphones and jam out to Christian music while I jog. So whenever I see another jogger in the distance, I turn off the music so I can respond to whatever is being said or I can make a remark if so inclined.

However, one particular afternoon I didn’t want to turn off my radio. I was in a runner’s groove, and I didn’t feel like slowing down to look at my IPod. I decided that I would just speak to the passerby with the music playing in my ears. I prepared a quick comment about the weather and rehearsed it in my head. I was confident that I could give my small one-liner, make eye contact with the jogger and continue running my course. Simple.

Since the music was so loud in my ears, I really couldn’t hear how I sounded, but it was obvious the other jogger had no idea what I had said. All I saw as I ran past him was an expression of confusion and a little shock on his face. I’m horrified to think about what noises came out of my mouth.

Many times we as Christians do the same thing. We want to tell someone about Jesus, but we are listening to the loud noises of the world and we are unable to articulate clearly. We want to explain our relationship with Christ, but our words come out all jumbled and confused. Sometimes our entire life is one chaotic mess because we can’t distinguish God’s voice from amongst the world’s racket.

I’ve realized that in my own walk with God, I have had to tune out a lot of the world. Much of what I filter is not necessarily deemed as evil – it’s just distracting. Once I started turning down the ruckus filling my ears, I was much better at hearing from the Lord. When I could hear God’s voice, I became better at sharing His insights with others.

I know that God’s grace covers all my mess-ups, but I would like to do a better job at focusing my radar on Him. I want to clearly hear God’s voice, so He can do a mighty work in my life. If I could be diligent enough to tune-out the world’s transmissions, my ears will have greater ability to receive God’s holy signal, which is filled to overflowing with truth and promises.

What about you? What distractions can you tune out of your life, so you can better hear from God? What changes can you make that will keep your radar alert to His plan?

“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding”
(Job 37.5 NIV).

You can also read this at the Internet Cafe.

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Blogger Janet Johnson said...

Too funny! I'm so impressed you going jogging every day. I agree though, jogging etiquette is sure real. :)

8:08 AM  
Blogger Braley Mama said...

lol, awesome! I bet it wasn't as bad as you think. But still funny!:O)

9:49 AM  
Blogger May said...

Great post....We are surrounded by many distractions that it has become easy to miss God's calling. We must be able to tune out the worldly distractions in order to hear God’s voice.

10:15 AM  
Blogger MTJ said...

Hi Alisa,

That was funny! Particularly, "All I saw as I ran past him was an expression of confusion and a little shock on his face."

I've said things (even without listening to music) that I have no idea what was uttered or why...Who can tame the tongue?


12:16 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Great post! Too often I have the "music" too loud.

Actually, I have had the same thing happen to me only in another setting. My family made a stop at the book store where most every one in town seems to be, so I got so into the book that several people came up to me and said hi and I didn't realize it. :(



12:58 PM  
Blogger Stuff could always be worse said...

Yes I am impressed also, at your jogging. Do not worry about how you sound, if they knew you acknowledged them. Got a laugh out of this.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Missie said...

heading over to the cafe!
P.s. I gave you a blog award, check out my latest blog post!

8:25 PM  
Blogger ******Shelly****** said...

I feel like this could have come straight from a page in my own journal! (Minus the So true...there are many, many distractions and outside "voices" that can interfere with and decrease our ability to hear what God is saying to us. My main distraction is simply busyness and doing too much. Balance is key, along with having the courage to say no and setting boundaries! :)

12:11 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Nice reminder, Alisha, that our focus needs to be "focused" and that we need to level the playing field so that God is heard first, without all the distractions.



9:40 AM  
Blogger cheryl said...

What about you? What distractions can you tune out of your life, so you can better hear from God? What changes can you make that will keep your radar alert to His plan?

1)No T.V. (except for the occasional Netflix)
2)Avoiding religious debates
3)Keeping busy.

Now that 1 and 2 are no longer a significant part of my life, I fret less, I'm more upbeat, and I'm not constantly having to ward of thoughts of, "Why is this person so..." or "Wow that cop show was disturbing..." Coupled with 3, I'm able now, with better ease, to get up in the morning, looking forward to the day and how I can serve my family. Without all the other distractions constantly filtering through my brain, "t.v. images"; anticipating my 'opponant's' response or still fuming over the last one.... I can better listen to God's voice as He directs me throughout the day as to how I should think and act.

10:47 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

loved this... I run alone in the hills near our tune out the messages of the world....when it's raining or too hot...and I can't...I definitely notice the difference in my attitude. As a runner...I really liked this post.

6:54 PM  
Blogger Dean Spencer said...


I really liked your post. I was really getting into your analogy even though I'm not a jogger. It's something we all can relate to on some level.

It really is something to think about, with the distractions of life. I would like very much to be more in tune with the Holy Spirit and His leading.

Thank you so much for, again, another excellent post. Blessings!

10:52 PM  
Blogger Melanie Redd said...

What a great post and a wonderful reminder to turn down the noise.

I loved this... "Sometimes our entire life is one chaotic mess because we can’t distinguish God’s voice from amongst the world’s racket."

Praying I'll hear Him more clearly as I turn down the racket in my own life.

Thanks for the challenge!

Blessings to you,

9:44 AM  
Blogger Just Be Real said...

This post made me smile. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always told my college composition classes a Billy Graham quote, "If you want to change someone's life, tell a story." You always tell the most perfect stories with gentle messages from God! Thank you:)

9:42 PM  
Blogger Amy Sullivan said...

What a great comparison!

The funny thing is that the distractions in my life are often GOOD's just that sometimes even those GOOD things can take over.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool comparison!

I wonder....what did he think you were saying? Lol!


11:19 AM  
Blogger Toia said...

Love the jogging story...but what you said in relating this God is so true and right on the money. This is something to think about. Have a bless weekend!!!

6:06 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Great post -- funny and insightful at the same time.

BTW, I would like to let you and other followers know that my Blest Atheist blog went down. I replaced it with 100th Lamb ( I explain why there.

6:02 AM  
Blogger Family, Money and Stuff said...

"I'm horrified to think..." LOL! I hear that. I'm often horrified to think about what I said, did or looked like to someone else too. Oh boy.

Thanks for the reminder that our tuning into God is not just about us - our decision impacts those around us. So powerful. ... wish I could really let that sink in so motivation to obey would never wane or weaken.

Love reading your blog!

9:06 AM  

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