Checking In


I got a call from my Mom a couple of days ago.  Let me digress.  It doesn’t seem unusual to get a call from your mom does it?  It seems natural.  But not in this case.  I get a call from my mom maybe every three months.  That’s because I usually call my mom 4-5 times per week and so she doesn’t have to give me a call.  She knows I’m going to call so she waits for the ring on her phone.  She has come to expect that her son will give her a call every day or so and so she should expect that.  I love to call my mom and find out whats going on in her life.

But I got a call from her and it went like this.  “Jim (with a pause), Jim (and another pause), are you all right?”  I responded, “Yes Mom, I’m all right, I’m fine.”  To that response she responded, “I haven’t heard from you in a couple of days and began to wonder if you were all right.”  Our conversation went on from there as we talked about her getting low in her weekly bridge game where her high card for the day in playing several hands was a Jack (for those of you who don’t play bridge, those hands are terrible).  We talked about the Denver Broncos and how they played such a great game beating the New England Patriots.  She mentioned watching the Arizona Cardinals and what an awful game they played and asked me what was wrong to which I replied, “I don’t know mom.  I quit watching it before half time.”  We had a wonderful conversation before we hung up and she was satisfied with the reconnection she had missed in the previous days.

As I began to ponder the conversation with my mom, it struck me that at times when I don’t check in with the Lord, I wonder what He must be thinking as to my not calling Him up.  God wants to have the same daily, regular, consistent interaction with us that my mom began missing from my calling her.  Have you ever wondered what God does when we aren’t choosing to get in touch with us.  For my mom, she called on the phone.  But what does God do when we are preoccupied with life and aren’t choosing to connect with Him?

In Amos 4, it is the prophet Amos telling a story of God trying to connect with the Israelite nation.  He is trying to get their attention so that they will turn back to him.  I’ll let you read the passage for yourself, but there are five different obstacles that he uses to get their attention.  He first gave them “cleanness of teeth and lack of bread” to get their attention (this represented the necessities of life).  Secondly he “withheld rain from them when there were three months until harvest.” (this represented the resources needed to make a living).  He brought about “scorching wind and mildew” which represented extreme uncomfortable circumstances to the Israelite nation.  He sent a plague that killed many of their men.  He used sickness and even death to get their attention.  He lastly used  slavery by overthrowing them to get their attention.  After every obstacle that He used to get their attention, the phrase follows, “Yet you have not returned to me” declares the Lord”.

God used and uses various means to get our attention today, but do we respond the same way that the Israelites did?  The problems that come our way, or lack of resources we find ourselves with, or even sickness that comes our way may be God’s way of trying to get our attention to have connection with Him.

On this journey, it is vitally important that we become sensitized with God’s tapping us on our shoulder.  It’s His way of wanting fellowship with us to give us His direction for our lives and showing us His love.

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About James Gorton

I am happily married to Nadine, a person I've known for 20+ years. She and her late husband owned Airpark Auto Service where I took my car for years. Four years after my wife died we began dating and the rest is history. We have a blended family of 6 children between us and love visiting them across this country. We recently had our third grandchild between us. We love to hike, bike and ski. I am a psychologist and do relational life coaching for marriages and families primarily. I love what I do and never get tired of seeing marriages and families move to more healthy places in their lives. Five years ago my oldest daughter Deborah encouraged me to begin writing my thought into a blog I call my Jlog (Jim's log). I have become more and more passionate in connecting everyday experiences to spiritual truths. I hope that as you read my Jlog, you will gain insight into your personal life and experience true growth in your personal and relational life.
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