Over the last few days, I have asked the person I am having a conversation with, “Am I talking too much?”
Usually, the person in front of me is very kind and says something to the effect, “Oh no. I find it interesting.”
People are kind.
I tend to find myself talking all the time when I am in church. Believe it or not, I am naturally a quiet and quite shy person. As a friend of mine once put it, “I am an introvert by nature and an extrovert by profession.” Yet here I am talking all the time. I think there are several reasons. Because I am shy, silence in a gathering makes me nervous. I feel like I need to fill that silence. I also get very excited about my family, the Bible, this church and the other things we tend to talk about when I am in the church building. When I get excited, I love to share, and share and share. By profession, and this time also by nature, I am a fixer. If you ask me about an issue or situation in your life, I will brainstorm and think out loud and talk it through until I think I find a solution.
Sadly, this compulsiveness finds its way into my prayer life. I seem to talk a lot, in fact, way too much when I am praying. I have a hard time sitting still, so sitting quietly in the Lord is hard. I tend to fill the silent gap. Usually whatever I am praying forth is exciting or weighing heavy on my heart, so I tend to tell the Lord ALL about it. Then mistakenly and inadvertently thinking that I am almighty, I tell God how to fix me, the situation or another person.
I am slowly learning to “Be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10). I am learning the lessons I read in the Elijah story. Be quiet and listen for the still small voice. When the first son of the union with Bathsheba was so ill, David just got away by himself and prayed quietly; Ezekiel went out to the Valley of the Dry Bones. Esther was quiet in the palace and waited for the Lord to guide her “for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14).
I urge you to read from your prayer book during our 40 Days of Prayer for our Church each day. Then sit quietly in the Lord. Remember God is God and we are not. Remember God speaks both loudly and very, very softly sometimes.
Keep praying and remember you don’t always have to talk—just be in the Lord sometimes.