Reveille sounded at 6:00 am this morning, calling the troops to “rise and shine.” This has been a tradition I came to treasure early in life since living on many military installations. I remember being about seven years old and upon hearing it every morning, I would sit up and sing along, “It’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up in the morning.”
Because the weather is beginning to warm up, our bedroom window was open. When the bugle sounded this morning, I sang those words in my head, but then heard another voice. In my spirit, I heard the Lord say, “It’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up this morning. I have a word for you and I need for you to get up.”
I second-guessed the stirring in my heart and reluctantly decided I should rise and go down to my chair with my Bible and journal and spend some time with the Lord. I tiptoed out of bed and quietly closed the door so as not to wake my husband and dog. In the kitchen, I made my morning tea and then headed to my chair. So far, so good.
Suddenly, I heard my husband call from the second floor, “Hey Meg (what he calls me), what are you doing? Are you coming back up?” I tried to whisper to him, “I’m getting up. I felt like the Lord was telling me to get up, that he had something for me.” Hoping I’d satisfied him, I went back to the living room and he shut the bedroom door.
I settled in with my tea and Bible and began to pray and ask God to speak to me, that I was listening. I prayed against any distractions or noises as I felt this was a time to be silent and listen and I’m so easily distracted. The millisecond I said Amen, I heard the bedroom door open; the dog came running down the stairs, the cat began meowing incessantly and my husband then bounded down the stairs. (I think he was doing jumping jacks on each step.) He went into the kitchen where he proceeded to bang pots and clank dishes and noisily pour cat food into her dish.
I was so irritated. I muttered under my breath, “You have got to be kidding me, Lord. I thought you had something for me? Do you think I can concentrate and listen to You when the circus is performing in the next room?”
Thankfully, I heard Him reply. “I’ve ordained this time together. And I’ll redeem our time together. Your job was to show up and listen. Thank you for being obedient.”
I quietly sat for the next 30 minutes (blocking out the heavy sighing coming from the dog lying next to me, and my husband singing his favorite song over and over) and just listened. I reflected on God’s indescribable love for me, I recounted His faithfulness in the past, but mostly I just sat still and listened. This was a discipline I’d been used to practicing most mornings. However, with the extra traveling I’d been doing and the COVID-19 upheaval, I’d not taken time to sit in silence and solitude in several months, so it felt good to “just show up.”
As I concluded my time in silence, I was drawn to a book on my side table, Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton. I’d finished reading it several months earlier but was compelled to open it and reread the last chapter entitled, “For the Sake of Others.” And there was my treasure He had waiting for me.
Several paragraphs in that chapter spoke directly to a relational situation I’ve been struggling with. He gave me insight and the next steps I needed to take. I closed my time in a prayer of gratitude for the wake-up call and for God’s clear message, despite the interruptions.