We wind through the sand dunes on the way to the lagoon. Going slow in four-wheel drive, the tyres slip on loose sand. The engine works hard to get us up over hills and round sharp bends. In the valleys, we can’t see what’s ahead. The tracks are narrow with occasional spaces that open up in the silvery scrub for cars to pass. Turning blind corners and approaching crests, in narrow places we can only hope no one is coming the other way.
Because of this, Leigh keeps the two-way radio switched on, and it scans through the channels, searching for activity on the line, an indication of other vehicles in the area. I watch the numbers flick through from 1 to 80, and then start again. The scanner picks up nothing. No voices on the line. The scanner keeps on searching.
When we left Perth for ten days camping in Coral Bay, I was very much in need of a break. I was flooded by emotions that disorganised and confused me, and had many questions about the future. I was looking forward to resting, reading, praying and hearing God speak to me. I’d made a list of suggestions for Him- things I wanted God to clear up and square away for me.
But like the two way scanner, I’m running through the channels and there is only static on the line. I’m searching every channel that we’ve chatted on before; I read my bible and favourite authors, I lay and pray. I listen to the conversations around me and observe the natural world- all the time scanning, listening out for the voice of God.
But he is silent.
Leigh suggests that Maybe God’s not using the two-way. Maybe I should switch off the radio- still my mind. Empty of it of all expectations. Just stop and be still. I think he might be onto something.
I came on holiday feeling emotionally exhausted. Perhaps God has been intentionally quiet as he waits for me to slow down and sift through all those confusing, disorganised feelings. The spaces I’ve been filling with reading and talking are needed for quietly contemplating, examining my emotions and allowing myself to feel the full weight of them. I need to reflect on them and thoughtfully decide what to do with them.
Ignoring our emotions is turning our back on reality. Listening to our emotions ushers us in to reality. And reality is where we meet God… Emotions are the language of the soul. They are the cry that gives the heart a voice.
-Dan Allendar & Tremper Longman
I think this is where God will meet me. In the stillness and silence, in the inner contemplation.