Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Please! Be Quiet…or not

(submitted by Kerry Patton)
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

Recently, I upgraded the audio system in my car to one that featured among other things, a navigation system.  One of the key features of this navigation system is that the system is programed not only with the streets and highways, but also with the posted speed limits of most of those streets and highways.  A safety feature of the system uses this information to “gently” (HA!) remind me that I…for example…might be at that moment be “OVER THE SPEED LIMIT” (ahem).

The first time this occurred, I was driving on Upper Denton Road on my way to work the morning after having had the system installed.  The posted speed limit on that stretch of road is 40 MPH.  I was driving well below that rate at…let’s say about 35 MPH.  I’m not a speeder.  (I used to be, but I’m more of a ‘drive like my grandfather’ driver now.)  So, I’m driving up Upper Denton Road at about 35 MPH and the road bends slightly to the right…and just before that bend, the speed limit changes to 30 MPH for the bend.  SUDDENLY, in a loud volume, a woman’s voice comes through my speakers, interrupting the music I was listening to and informs me: “You are over the speed limit!” 

The announcement startled me!  I didn’t even know the radio would/could do that.  I recovered quickly and the more I thought about this feature, I thought it was really cool!  Why…it might even save me from an accidental traffic ticket!  Awesome!  …or not. 

After work, I went to pick up my children from their afterschool daycare and driving toward home, I apparently exceeded the in town speed limit.  Here is the loud voice again.  “You are over the speed limit!”  Once again, I was startled.  Ben and Sydney were wide-eyed. “What was that??” Ben asked.  “Daddy, you need to slow down!” added Sydney.  I checked the speedometer and noted that I wasn’t actually speeding.  My speedometer showed me driving exactly the speed limit.  However, the GPS of my navigation system was tracking me two full miles per hour faster.  I WAS speeding.  Apparently, I speed all of the time…if the GPS is accurate!  It would seem that my speedometer has been under-representing my speed…and I have been speeding just about every time I drive anywhere!!  Oh no!!

Suddenly the voice spoke again… “You are over the speed limit!”  Okay, now it’s just getting annoying.  “That’s really loud…” Ben exclaimed.  “Can you turn it down?” he added.  “Or OFF?” interjected Sydney.  Now I’m getting self-conscious.  Do I defend my driving and blame the technology for being too sensitive OR do I let it go and drive under the perception that my children’s father is a speed demon?

Well, I will confide in you that I did in fact turn off that notification.  I tried just turning it down so that it wasn’t so loud, but it was still interrupting my music.  So I found that setting in the radio’s set up screen and fixed it.  My radio no longer scolded me for exceeding the speed limit.  There remained an icon on the display that appeared showing the posted speed limit should I exceed it, but the voice no longer sounded.  Peace at last! 

Or not.  You see, now that the voice was gone, I was a little troubled.  Is this the way that I handle the infractions of life and the voice of the Holy Spirit when I “exceed the posted limits” of life? 
·      Do I at first try to ignore the warnings? 
·      As they persist, am I seeking to dispute the claim, or justify my actions? 
·      Ultimately, do I desire that the voice just be quiet and leave me alone?? 

Oh my!  Wouldn’t I ultimately be better off if I turned the voice back on and sought to better obey the “speed limits?”  Yes I would.  Soooooo…back to the setup screen I go.  I need that voice.  No…not just the voice interrupting the music in my car, but much more importantly, I need the voice of the Holy Spirit of God – correcting, calling out to me, warning me.  I need the counsel of the Lord.  And I do NOT want to grow deaf to it, nor for my Father to take it away.  In fact, I need to practice and become very sensitive to hearing it…no matter how inconvenient it might seem to my mind at the time. 


Almighty God, I am so very thankful for the voice of your Spirit.  I pray that I might become more sensitive to the Spirit’s instructions, corrections, and leading.  Change my heart, change my mind, change my life O God.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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