There are so many forms of communication that sometimes we can get lost in translation. Even just a simple “hello” can be said in numerous different ways, and will change depending upon where you live and the customs to where you live. And what about goodbye?! Again, another long list comes to mind. But even more difficult — the conversation that exists between the hello and goodbye. So many times, we think we are listening to a conversation and answering as expected, only to find out at the conclusion we were completely misunderstanding what was being communicated. Communication is key to our workplace, our marriage, our friends, our children — and key to just about anything.
The other night as we headed off to make our run to Wal-Mart, communication was clear between Tommy and me. Gather all the kids, throw them in the car to pick up a few items at Wal-Mart, and head back home. It’s just a simple trip to and from the local Wal-Mart and we figured it would be a good “get out of the house” errand that the kids would enjoy.
Noah hopped into the car and immediately started asking question after question, giving us almost no time to respond… Why do I need to go? What do we need to get? I’m hungry, are we eating out? When are we going to be back? Can I play outside when we get home? Do I have to take a shower?
Emma hopped into the car and began asking similar questions… Why do I have to go with you to the store? Can I stay with my friend? How long are we going to be gone? I’m thirsty. Can we stop for a drink? Can I spend my money?
We scooped Luke up and put him in his car seat and took off. Luke began to fuss a little and we started asking questions of him, trying to understand what he needed. You see, Luke isn’t vocal yet, other than saying Momma and Daddy and a few other words. Communicating to us what he needs generally comes from experience of working with him or him answering simple yes or no questions. We asked and asked and finally concluded he wanted my phone to play his games on. A great relief came over us that we had finally figured out what he needed.
This probably sounds similar to a ride you’ve had with your kids. When you think “this will be a quick, easy trip the kids will be excited to take” only to find out that was not the case or they have 100 questions in between to ask you before you even get to the stop sign at the end of your street!
I’m thankful that both Noah and Emma have the ability to ask the questions, that they think about what they want to ask and they probe for me to respond. I look forward to the day when Luke will ask me questions, when he will think about where we are headed and why we are going there. Sometimes I’m thankful he can’t ask because I don’t want to have to tell him we are headed to the hospital for another surgery. He understands, of course, once we arrive, but he doesn’t sweat it all the way there, worrying about what ifs — instead he enjoys the ride.
In the midst of all this, I think about my life with Christ. How is he communicating to me? How am I communicating to him? If I’m not reading my Bible and I’m not praying then how do you think our conversations are going to flow? From where I’m standing, I don’t see how we would have any conversations. Without the word to guide my decisions, my choices, my conversation I would be lost. Without prayer and talking with God daily, how is he going to know what I truly need and desire?
The Bible doesn’t say he will “read my mind” and just respond. He could, but that’s not how it works. The Bible says we are to ASK and it shall be given.
John 14:14 – You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Matthew 7:7 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Our Family Prayer Time
As we began our ride home from our quick, fun, get-out-of-the-house ride, once again, Luke began to get fussy. We tried all the questions, answers, books, phone, etc. and nothing seemed to work. The only thing I could do was begin to pray to the Lord that He would provide the words for me to give to Luke so that neither of us would be frustrated. That Luke and I could establish a mode of communication that may not exist in words, but perhaps in actions or facial expressions. That God would direct Luke, until the time He provides his speech, with a method of communication that we both can understand.
Once we arrived home, we determined that Luke was hungry! Of all things, coming from a kid who hardly eats, he was hungry! I was thankful to the Lord for showing me what Luke needed that night, and I was encouraged that we will keep learning every day, one step at a time.